Grandfather and Grandson Share Matching Zipper Scars After Open Heart Surgery
Eleven-month-old Kolbie Gregware and his grandfather share a connection like no other: Both are in fragile health — with one life just beginning and the other nearing its end — and both have very special matching scars.
“Kolbie is very bonded with me, but my dad, he just sits there and stares at him for hours like he’s God,” Kolbie’s mother Brandy Gregware told InsideEdition.com
Gregware says Kolbie, who was born premature and with down-syndrome, suffers from heart, lung and kidney diseases, while her father, Allen Halstead, is on “borrowed time” after suffering from multiple heart conditions.
Both have had multiple open heart surgeries.
Brandy wanted to have the photos done so her son could see one day how much his grandfather loves him and to send a message of hope to those who see it.
"They’re both walking miracles. They just have a bond that is unbelievable and I wanted to share that for people so they could see that miracles happen — they happen every day and I wanted to make sure people know they can happen," Gregware said.
Gregware says her father’s heart is operating at 10 percent of what is considered normal, and if the medication he keeps in the fanny pack he affectionately calls his “girlfriend,” runs out, so will his time.
Photographer Sunshine Moody, whose own premature baby girl was born weighing less than 2 pounds, was motivated to take the photos of Kolbie, his twin brother Kash and their grandfather, after reading the boy’s story on Facebook.
“I knew I wanted to do photos for free. When my daughter was born she had the same premature condition, so I just really wanted to do it for them,” said Moody, whose black and white photograph of the pair has captivated people around the country.
Understanding how powerful and meaningful the photoshoot could be for little Kolbie’s family, Moody was nervous to take on the project.
“Honestly I was scared to death to take it. I had told my husband before that I didn’t know how to take it. I didn’t know if I could do it,” said Moody.
Kolbie is now doing the best he has in a long time — at home for 30 days and in a stable condition, and his grandfather, who Gregware calls “quite a character” is in great spirits, despite “good and bad days.”
For Gregware and her family, the heartwarming photograph captures a “raw moment” they will always treasure, and one that has touched the hearts of many beyond just them.
"I have received tons of messages from people saying it has given them hope. They can proudly wear their scars. God gave you an obstacle so show it, and show it proud,” said Gregware.