Sara Heller and her partner Chris Eidam were all set for their first child. Sara was going to be giving birth to a baby boy, whom the couple named Brody. However, doctors found something unfortunate in Sara’s ultrasound. After 24 weeks of pregnancy, they discovered that Brody had a cleft lip and palate.
Sara was distraught, and doctors gave her the option to terminate her pregnancy. However, Sara Heller decided to keep her baby, despite his cleft lip and palate. She made the decision partially to show the world that babies with cleft lips and cleft palates can be beautiful too. “We wanted to spread awareness,” Heller said on the Today Show.
After Brody was born, Sara began sharing pictures of him on social media. She wanted people to see that even with his cleft lip and palate, Brody was otherwise a healthy baby boy. Sara posted a photo of Brody on Instagram, and even though she prepared herself for the worst, she was still taken aback by one person’s rudeness.
The comment read, “What’s wrong with his face?” Sara Heller had expected some shock at Brody’s appearance but was still emotional about the comment. “I wasn’t prepared to defend my 3-month-old and why he looks ‘different,’” Sara said. “I decided to educate rather than create a confrontation because that is what I want Brody to do in the future.”
Sara responded to the mean comment, politely informing the person of Brody’s cleft lip and palate. Later that night she and Chris took Brody out to dinner with some friends. While they were at the restaurant, the server approached the couple with a folded napkin and said it was from another customer.
Inside the folded napkin was a cheque for $1000. The couple could not believe it. Written on the cheque’s memo line was “For the beautiful baby.” It was an overwhelming and emotional moment for Sara Heller. “Tears fell from my eyes immediately and the happiness my heart felt is indescribable,” Sara said of the experience.
The cheque has gone toward Brody’s medical bills, as he continues to receive surgeries for his cleft lip and palate. Sara Heller claims the act of kindness “restored [her] faith in humanity.” Sara has also received praise from other parents of children with cleft lips and cleft palates. “We’ve been contacted by people all over the country. They are praying for us and asking us to reach out if we need anything.”
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