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Father’s footage of premature son’s first year goes viral

Everybody needs to know they’re not alone sometimes. An Ohio father has compiled a short film documenting the first year of his premature son’s life, empowering and inspiring millions of other parents in the same situation.

Lyndsey and Ward

Considering that the premature birth of a child is a reality for many parents, we couldn’t help but share this incredible short film, which has gone viral on YouTube.

A Columbus, Ohio, father and photographer, Ben Miller, captured his premature son’s, Ward, journey from development in the hospital to his finally coming home. The baby was born on July 16, 2012 (three and a half months early) and weighed a mere 1.5 pounds. Ward spent 107 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, with his mother, Lyndsey, present by his crib side every day and Ben documenting every second of it.

“It was very draining physically, emotionally and spiritually,” Ben told Today.

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The seven-minute film is a celebration marking the one-year anniversary of Ward’s homecoming on Oct. 31 and a surprise gift to Lyndsey, whose birthday is on Nov. 1.

“He always has a camera in his hand, but I had no idea it was this,” Lyndsey stated.

“I just wanted Lyndsey to have a really cool film she could watch of her and her son,” said Ben. “I knew all the tender moments really meant a lot to her and that a lot of people would relate.”

The first part of the film almost shatters your heart, when you witness the fragility of little Ward, who is no bigger than two palms. Of course, as the video progresses, you get to see him grow stronger, open his eyes, breathe without the aid of medical equipment and finally come home. We think this film will resonate with many mothers who have also sat by the side of their baby’s crib at the NICU. In fact, 7 per cent of babies are born prematurely in Canada — a rate nearly double of that in the United States.

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“When you are going through it, you feel like you are in the minority. But then you realize so many people have gone through it,” Lyndsey said about how common premature birth is.

So please watch the film, and share it with somebody who might need a bit of empowerment. If you have a personal story, don’t hesitate to tell us.

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Photo courtesy of Benjamin Miller / YouTube

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