Just one look at these “risky” baby photos, and we can imagine every mom around the world collectively screaming, “No!”
The thought of a toddler climbing a ladder, holding a butcher knife, or sitting in the driver’s seat would scare anyone, let alone a parent. But Stephen Crowley, a 32-year-old dad from Dublin, Ireland, is hoping this seemingly harmless prank will potentially save lives.
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The designer started putting his Photoshop skills to the test, manipulating photos to make it seem as if his 18-month-old daughter, Hannah, was in precarious situations, such as walking too close to water or going up to the attic for Christmas decorations all by herself. The images look unbelievably realistic at first glance. So much so, Crowley’s wife is still upset by them. “My wife actually works for the Irish equivalent of CPS so she’s particularly bothered by these,” he wrote on Imgur.
After posting some of the photos on Reddit and Imgur this past April, people really began to take notice, for better and for worse—but, mostly, for the better. "Most of the reactions have been positive, with the odd person not getting the joke and commenting I 'should be shot,'" he shared on Reddit.
So now Crowley is turning what was intended as a joke into an actual purpose, capitalizing on the newfound fame and attention to raise awareness about the very real threat his daughter faced: a rare autoimmune disease called Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), which can damage the tissues and organs, including the liver, brain, and bone marrow. As a result, Hannah was forced to spend the first six months of her life in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.
Of 27 million worldwide donors, three were deemed suitable, and an anonymous German lady donated," Crowley reported to HUH Magazine. "Because we missed out on so much normal stuff of the first year, we take tons of photos now that we're able to do normal things out of isolation.
And while these baby portraits are not of the Sears variety, Crowley is hopeful the photoshopped pictures of Hannah may inspire others to, yes, laugh, but also to become donors, particularly to this bone marrow registry, Be the Match.
"She is doing much better now, in and out of hospital," Crowley told the Insider. "But she's lots of fun, always smiling, and has a great sense of humor given what she's been through so far.”
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And after seeing what this father is able to create with a simple image editing tool, we’re willing to bet it’s pretty easy to put a smile on Hannah’s face, bad dad jokes and all.