Once upon a time, at 28 weeks gestation, fraternal twins Thor and Brooklyn, made their entrance into our world. It was a tough start for them both but Thor thrived as Brooklyn gave her all just to survive. Due to her prematurity, Brooklyn encountered many obstacles including cerebral palsy, a brain bleed that lead to hydrocephalus, a VP (ventriculoperitoneal) shunt, cortical vision impairment, and so much more. Doctors warned her parents that she will never be mobile on her own; she will be 99.9% mentally impaired, blind for life and will never walk. Brooklyn’s story was just beginning.
A mass of emotions surrounded Brooklyn’s parents as they tried to wrap their brains around their precious daughter’s prognosis. They would not allow a diagnosis to define their youngest daughter. Delving into hours upon hours of research, Kelly, Brooklyn’s mother, became well acquainted with her daughter’s supposed limitations, and booked appointments with the best specialists. Kelly, became Brooklyn’s fierce advocate.
Some say that God will never give you more than you can handle. We come into this world with a plan, a purpose surrounded by those who will help support our intended path: our soul’s path. This couldn’t be more evident in Brooklyn’s story. Her and her mother’s connection is one of the most purposeful that I have ever witnessed.
A month or so after completing her eldest son’s high school senior photos, Kelly and I met for coffee to go over an idea she had for her youngest daughter. She wanted to book a storybook session for Brooklyn. While most parents and I discuss favorite novels, characters and movies, Kelly and I discussed a much more intimate theme: Brooklyn’s story.
We went over diagnoses, hospitalizations, procedures, set-backs, advances and celebrated milestones. On paper, I had a vision of Brooklyn that I am sure most of the specialists see as they read her chart. Brooklyn is an anomaly within a realm of that in which not much known or understood. With the odds stacked against her, she has continuously blown each caged perception out of the water. The human brain is a mesmerizing structure that is capable of such adaptability when it comes to survival. Brooklyn is one hell of a survivor.
I spent weeks planning Brooklyn’s session, wondering and worrying if I was going to do her story justice. Being an artist, I pour my heart and soul into my work. Each piece is a reflection of my perception. I prayed that I would be able to capture everything that Brooklyn has gone through in a magical- fairy-tale sense that is synonymous with my style.
A couple months after our initial meeting, Brooklyn came to my studio for her session. I remember being completely blown away by her vibrant and bright personality. She was extremely talkative, curious and an absolute joy. If the doctor’s from her first few months of life could see her now at the age of 5, I am sure they wouldn’t believe it. Brooklyn has broken every limitation that has been set before her. She is able to walk with crutches, is farsighted but can see with glasses, communicates exactly what she wants and doesn’t want, loves horses, bubbles and mirrors, and is such a shining light.
This is Brooklyn’s story. Curious and fierce like a lion, she is a shining light that continuously writes her own story, popping limitations like the bubbles she loves so much. <3