While photos of their children are cherished by any parents, this image in particular holds a special place in the hearts of Melanie and her partner Drew Christie – it is one of the few they will ever have of their daughter Paislee. It was taken two days after Melanie, who was almost 32 weeks pregnant at the time, had been rushed to hospital with severe stomach pains. Hours after being admitted, the couple were given the news no parents ever want to hear – their baby had died in the womb. Paislee was born a day later, on July 3, 2016 – almost 22 years to the day after Melanie’s parents were similarly devastated by the loss of their own stillborn daughter. Melanie and Drew had three precious days with the daughter in hospital, a chance to make the memories that would have to last them a lifetime. They were also given the opportunity to create a permanent reminder of their daughter with a visit from Maitland-based photographer Leighsa Cox. Leighsa is one of around 30 professional photographers within the Hunter who volunteer through Heartfelt, a
national organisation dedicated to giving the gift of photographic memories to families that have experienced stillbirths, premature births or have children with serious and terminal illnesses. Despite the devastation and despair they were feeling, Melanie knew this was an opportunity too important to
pass up.