Founder of “World of Broken Hearts” Suha Dabit is all too familiar with the painfully personal struggle of caring for a child with congenital heart disease (CHD). In fact, her own daughter, Nadia, wouldn’t be alive today without a heart donation.
With her CHD & Organ Donation Awareness photography blog, Dabit is on a mission to draw attention to the dire need for heart donations for the 40,000 babies affected by CHD each year. Nothing can capture that need quite like photographing families coping with CHD during their most raw and vulnerable times.
“After five and a half months of waiting, we received the call,” shared Dabit of her own experience. “They found a perfect match, a whole, four ventricle heart, her lifesaving gift, a new chance at life. After nearly six months of waiting and praying, we were able to bring Nadia home again.”
This is why I became a photographer,” she explains. “Some CHD babies never leave the hospital after they are born, and taking photos, let alone professional photos of them, is the last thing on a family’s mind. I know this because I have been there. I wanted other families to have portraits they could hold on to and cherish forever.”
Dabit says she “captures the souls of these little fighters” with each session, telling each of their unique stories with powerful imagery.
And perhaps no one’s story has captivated the hearts of the Internet quite like sweet 2-year-old Adalynn who died in her parents’ arms while waiting for a heart transplant.
“I could tell you about the approximately 40,000 babies that are born every year with a congenital heart defect. That is roughly 1 in 100 newborns, every year.”
“I could tell you about the half a heart that Adalynn was born with or many other different congenital heart defects that affect so many children across the globe.”
“I could tell you about how underfunded CHD research is.”
“I could tell you how babies with CHD’s require a heart transplant at some point in their lives, why and what you could do to help.
I could tell you that Adalynn is one of the 20 people that die every day waiting for a transplant.”
“Or, I could tell you about my perspective of what it was like being in that room to document their last moments together as a family of six.
But there aren’t any words to describe the pain and love I witnessed.”
“CHD claims so many lives, too many lives. It tears families apart and forces siblings to grow up way too fast. It changes you in every aspect of your life, and to the very core of our heart and soul.
It is hard, difficult and unfair.”
“This. This is the reality for many CHD families every day.”
“Kristi and Justin, thank you for allowing me to share with the world such personal and intimate moments.
Fly high baby girl. You fought so hard and touched so many lives.”
“I am hoping to shed more light on the number one disease that claims so many lives and to inspire people to become organ donors,” says Dabit. “If through my work I touch just one person to become a donor, eight lives can possibly be saved.”
You can be part of this life-saving effort. Visit Donate Life to register to become an organ donor today.