First birthday photos are always fun, but none will tug at your heart like the “Three of Hearts” triple cake smash snaps by Boston photographer Nicole Starr.
Starr’s photo shoot featured Mae, Cate and Harper, three little girls with Down syndrome who were born within three days of each other.
All three were at Boston Children’s Hospital for open heart surgeries at the same time to repair congenital heart defects.
The three girls and their mothers finally met for the very first time at a breastfeeding photoshoot with Julia’s Way, a nonprofit that’s focused on reimagining life with Down syndrome.
That’s when Starr came up with the “Three of Hearts” cake smash idea.
“It was a chance to commemorate the many challenges they’ve overcome, as well as the light that they each bring into the world,” Starr wrote on her blog.
Heart defects are common among children with Down syndrome.
Mae earned the nickname “Mighty Mae” after undergoing three heart surgeries before 7 months of age.
Cate has also had three major surgeries and spent the first 80 days of life in the hospital.
Harper also had a tough journey.
But their moms say all three are now thriving and, no doubt, bringing joy to people around the world with their now-viral photos.
© 2017 KHOU-TV