I met this lovely family a few years ago within my Christmas sessions, and this year this family won a gift card for their photo session, and I couldn’t think of a more deserving family to capture professional portraits.
This family has three beautiful children, Phoebe 6, Lyle 4 and Anabelle 2. However when Lyle was only 11 months old, he began having seizure like episodes that were like nothing his parents had seen before. These episodes were very distressing to see, they happened at any time, they would last for hours, and couldn’t be stopped. The spent the next 8 months seeing several doctors to try and find out what was going on. He had blood tests, EEGs, a Lumbar puncture and an MRI of the brain. All these tests determined that Lyle’s brain function was normal & was put onto trail seizure medication which worked. Amongst all the tests, Lyle also had a chest x-ray that revealed he had scoliosis & was referred to Sydney Children’s Hospital to see an orthopaedic surgeon. Our orthopaedic surgeon requested an MRI of Lyle’s spine to check for any underlying issues causing the scoliosis.
On the 6th January 2017, the day that changed their lives, which is a day his parents will never forget nor should have to experience. They were also 6 months pregnant with Anabelle. It was during the MRI which ended up going for a lot longer than planned, & were to stay the night due to having General Anaesthetic for an extended period. Not questioning anything we headed back to the paediatric ward where we were met with the senior paediatric doctor, a bunch of nurses, a social worker and their doctor, who started tearing up when she saw us. They were then told that Lyle had a tumour inside his spinal cord. They couldn't tell them much about it, & were referred to the Sydney Children's Hospital for immediate investigation.
During the next week at The Sydney Children's Hospital they met a lot of doctors, neurosurgeons, neurologists and oncologists & were told that because the tumour is inside his spinal cord, it is too risky to attempt to remove it, the spinal cord is small and intricate. One false move and Lyle could lose the function of his legs, bowels or bladder. But to determine a treatment, they needed to know what kind of tumour it is, and this would require a biopsy that carries a 10% risk of doing permanent irreversible damage.
The 1st biopsy came back with inconclusive results, so a 2nd had to be done. Thankfully there was no permanent damage from either of the biopsies. When his biopsy result had come back as an Astrocytoma, also known as a Glioma – which is more commonly found in the brain. Lyle was too young for radiation, so the best course of treatment is chemotherapy to begin immediately.
Over the next 72 weeks, Lyle had over 100 blood tests, 42 rounds of Chemotherapy, 16 delays, 9 lengthy hospital admissions and 6 MRI scans. On the 4th January 2019, almost 2 years to the day since he was diagnosed, Lyle finished his treatment. He is doing very well and loves preschool. His tumour is currently stable, and they travel to Sydney every 3 months for an MRI and a check-up. There will likely be more treatment in a couple of years.
It was a very tough 2 years for Lyle, our daughters and ourselves and we have so many people to thank for their support, including camp quality.
This family photography session was held within my studio in Canberra as it was held during winter and they decided my studio would be best. Before all my family photography sessions I send out a questionnaire to get to know further & to ask if there is anything you would like to bring along. This family had a beautiful quote to bring along
“Family - a little bit of crazy, a little bit of loud & a whole lot of love”.
I love how these portraits & memories with the quote reflect the children within this lovely family. So much love :)
Throughout all my family photography sessions I love to capture parents individually with their children, as well as children individually. Within all sessions I love to play around with the children & families. I love trying to get the beautiful smile by joking around, singing the children’s favourite songs!
I also love to mix up the session with using a few different backdrops and setups. This family chose a woodland theme backdrop for their children to play within, including using a few props!
To find out more about children & family photography sessions & capturing precious moments. Get in touch today to talk about options & ideas for your session.