When a man who’s been blind since the age of 6 discovered he was going to become a father, he was overjoyed. But he was missing out on the experience of seeing ultrasound photos of his baby in the womb; that is, until a friend gifted him an embroidered image so he could feel for himself the shape of his unborn child.
Nathan Edge has been experiencing blindness since the age of 6, when he lost 80 percent of his vision. After two failed operations during childhood, he completely lost his eyesight by the age of 18.
But Nathan hasn’t let that hold him back in life, playing for England’s blind football team and pursuing all the things he wanted in life, including starting a family.
When Nathan discovered his wife, Emma Fotheringham, was pregnant, they were ecstatic.
“It is a little bit scary,” Nathan admitted. “But I am definitely excited.”
However, there are some things Nathan doesn’t get to experience due to his blindness. The couple, both 26, went in for their first ultrasound, and the expectant father soon found himself wishing he could see the scan images.
“I have no sight at all,” Nathan told Metro on Dec. 14. “So I was not able to see the [ultrasound] scan photo. I missed out on that, although it was exciting to be there for it.”
When Emma realized that Nathan felt he was missing out, she collaborated with a friend, Deb Fisher, to create a tactile embroidered ultrasound image so he could feel the baby’s shape.
Emma says Deb, a local puppy walker for guide dogs, sent her a message after hearing about the situation.
“She said she was so happy for us both but sad that Nathan was unable to see our baby grow on our scan photos,” Emma recounted.
“She said she had never embroidered before but would love to try and embroider all of our scans for Nathan to enable us to experience the joy of our baby boy growing together.”
Emma was floored by the offer, and she accepted.
“I couldn’t believe someone could be so kind and thoughtful and knew it would be something very special for Nathan,” she said.
The experience was meaningful for Deb, too, who says she was brought to tears by the experience.
She said, “I did this and now I’m in tears. I’m no expert and this was my first try at thread embroidery. I can’t draw but I can paint in thread.”
Deb wasn’t the only one crying. Holding the embroidered image of his unborn infant, Nathan was moved, too.
“I was quite emotional,” he recounted. “It took me a few minutes to work it out. But normal baby scans are quite difficult to work out when you can see them.”
Nathan wrote in a tweet about the gift with the caption, “How incredible is this?” His post went viral with over 34,000 likes and retweets.
“I have been blown away by the sort of attention it has got on Twitter,” Nathan said. “It has made a lot of people smile. Especially after the year we have all had, it’s nice.”