Ben

I have two beautiful, sons. Sam and Ben.

They are clever, gentle, polite, articulate and loving boys. They have their bad points, but they are kids, so they are learning their way.

This is my youngest son, Ben.

Ben was born with a congenital heart problem called Tetralogy of Fallot.

In his 13 years, he has undergone major open heart surgery three times, the last being at the start of January 2011. At some point in the future, he faces the prospect of further surgery.

Every time he undergoes surgery, his breastbone is sawn open, and his heart stopped. The scars will be with him forever, but they are only skin deep. Mentally, he is tougher than me.

Ben is an example to us all. He has accepted the hand he was dealt, and has the most sunny disposition and positive outlook on life. He is my hero..

The three days that he has undergone surgery were the worst and best days of my life.

We are thankful every day to the surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and consultants that have cared for Ben.

This is a very personal post for me, it has taken me many months to decide whether to take and post this photograph, and I have only done so with Ben's permission.

PP 23rd November 2012
Home Page 24th November 2012
T20 number 4
Very moving photo. I must fav it as my nephew has gone through a very similar situation in the last 12 months and faces further surgery when he is older, he has just turned 3.
posted November 22nd, 2012  
As a mother of two boys this post is incredibly moving.

Not only for your son's braveness in relation to his condition and his giving you permission to post this photograph, but also because it make me put into perspective the very raw and current 'teenage issues' we are going through with our eldest. I need to step back, look at the big picture and count my blessings.

To use a phrase that I am far too long in the tooth to even think about using - respect!

Oh yes, and Fav!
posted November 22nd, 2012  
Love this Sean, thanks for sharing! Fave because it reminds us all to be thankful.
posted November 22nd, 2012  
@jantan Thank you Jan.

Ben will be made up that he has been faved. I find perspective to be a strange thing. There is always someone worse off, and when we are in the bubble that is the times he is in hospital, it is easy to look around and find people for whom that is the case. With my kids, even on the days when they are teenagers, it has taught me one simple lesson, and that is always to stand alongside them when there are issues, never opposite them. I hope you get my meaning there.

Good luck with your "issues" and thankyou for your considered and kind words.
posted November 22nd, 2012  
Respect! For your sun and for you. Being a heart patient I think I can understand a bit the fear you are all going through. I find it very brave and moving that you posted this.
posted November 22nd, 2012  
@hasselhotch Thank you David. My heart goes out to your family. It is far more common that you think. Whenever we are in hospital, I am always humbled by the stoicism of the children.

Good luck to your nephew and his family. I hope they have the same wonderful surgeons that we've had, and their situation can become a positive in their lives. Thanks for the fav, as I said to Jan, Ben will be made up!
posted November 22nd, 2012  
This is beautiful! You know I used to love shinny new things, perfect things with no flaws. You know the attitude, throw away the scratched or tainted. Now I love the scratches and tainted, they usually have a story, a life. Nothing is perfect in this world and I wouldn't want it to be. Those who go through the worst of life also appreciate the best in life. This young man has endured so much, so young and he now carries a strength not many ever find. Thanks for sharing this very personal photograph, in sharing it you have given more than you realise.
posted November 22nd, 2012  
@grizzlysghost Thanks Aaron. My reticence to take and post this very personal photo has already been dispelled. I am grateful for your sentiment, and Ben will be thrilled that he has a hat trick of favs.
posted November 22nd, 2012  
@hjv Thanks Hubregt. To discover that you have another thing on common with my family is very moving. Your respect is accepted and reciprocated back across the North Sea.
posted November 22nd, 2012  
@sugarmuser Thank you Sharon. I am at my desk typing with tears in my eyes at yours and the other comments this very personal post has received. Beauty is all around us. We only have to open our eyes to see it.
posted November 22nd, 2012  
Sean,your brave son Ben wears his badge of honour well & you must be incredibly proud of him.
Modern medicine is a wonderful thing & aren't we so grateful for that!!
I have always admired how open you are about the love & pride you have in both your sons & now I see why, you have learnt to seize the moment!!! A fave for Ben.
posted November 22nd, 2012  
Such a powerful image... thank you so much for sharing. I love his expression and pose. It screams strength! Another Fav from me!!
posted November 22nd, 2012  
What a handsome boy... don't they humble you with their strength at times? Go Ben!! :)
posted November 22nd, 2012  
Fav for this one, it's a remarkable photograph. A hero indeed.
posted November 22nd, 2012  
Awesome photo for an awesome individual, Ben is inspiring, fav
posted November 22nd, 2012  
Truly inspirational. Amazing story and young man, you've every reason to be proud.
posted November 22nd, 2012  
What a beautiful and moving photo and story. Your family must be so strong to go through such things. It is brave for you to talk about it, and it is always brave for someone to show their scars. They tell a story of strength and love and in that way they have a kind of beauty. This photo is definitely a fav x
posted November 22nd, 2012  
Great photo of Ben - my husband had the same type of scars - he developed cardiomyopathy and ended up having a heart transplant 17 years ago. Now my daughter after her second baby is being investigated as they think she may be developing this also and will face a transplant in the future. As well her 3 year old, Mikey, has ALL leukemia - he has been receiving chemo 2 x week in clinic plus meds daily and will continue for another 1 1/2 years (has had almost 1 year of treatment) - he has a great sense of humor and is quite brave - and during the time he started his treatments, his baby sister Quinnie was born - thanks for sharing sean
posted November 23rd, 2012  
This is an awesome portrait! Beautiful words you have written too, Sean. You are a man who wears his heart on his sleeve. You are the real deal and it's such a pleasure to have met you here. Your sons are really lucky and they will grow into men just like you. You have made the world a better place for 2 lucky people who will one day be their partners (if they so wish to have one lol).
posted November 23rd, 2012  
That is one brave and strong young man. Your story of his trials was so very moving, and clearly your family truly knows what 'Thankful' means.
Most of us don't know how we will handle such terrible times until we are in the midst of it, but I hope I can show even a portion of the strength your son has.
posted November 23rd, 2012  
Thank you Sewn for sharing Ben's story. Really moving. No wonder he is your hero. I had toraxic surgery to remove a huge malignant tumor between my lungs, but I was lucky that it was robotic surgery. I mention it so you consider it for a future surgery. It is not so invasive and the recuperation is much faster.
posted November 23rd, 2012  
Sending all the best --love/prayers and positive energy to ur loving son-..
posted November 23rd, 2012  
such a powerful photo! such a brave boy. Prayers for good health and no more surgery...
posted November 23rd, 2012  
I reckon that Ben is going to be even 'made-upper' to discover he has made the Popular Page. Wonderful!! Congratulations!!!
posted November 23rd, 2012  
I am not going to try to say all I am feeling - I will just mention the bravery, defiance and dignity which shines out of this amazing shot of your son Ben. Ben, I don't know you, but you are great!
posted November 23rd, 2012  
Great portrait of Ben. The lighting is perfect. It was lovely to read your words, and to see your pride in your sons. It is especially nice to see you express these thoughts out loud, as I think too many men aren't good at talking about their feelings. Your boys are lucky to have a dad who obviously loves and cares for them so much, which gives them the best possible start in life.
posted November 23rd, 2012  
your photo of your son Ben stirs up so much emotion... Fav on so many levels x
posted November 23rd, 2012  
and again and I am at work !
posted November 23rd, 2012  
Such a powerful emotional image.
posted November 23rd, 2012  
Prayers from my family go out to your son and to your family. God knows all you've been going through. Tell your son that he is not alone... my yougest brother has a heart condition, not the same as yours but still has a problem. Every time he goes off into surgery we all have to treat him the same, hoping he will be in our mothers hand by the end of the day. Prayers really do help.
I have leukemia and Lyme Disease. They both are bad but... well there is no but! I haven't lost my hair yet, but the doctors have said that the lyme is keeping my hair in place. I have to go through tics everyday, that have caused me to break my wrist, and choke on my food! I pass out maybe 3 times a day, and have to be brought to the hospital once a week. The hospital that I have to go to is 14 hours from my house, and I go on Wednesday, causing me to miss school. I also have vocal outburst that make me whistle like a bird, made me say "hey", make me grunt, and say "no".
Don't take this the wrong way, bcause your son is far worse than me! I really do think he is.
posted November 23rd, 2012  
@seanoneill Tell Ben he's a star ;) He's on the PP.
posted November 23rd, 2012  
@ozziehoffy Rock and roll Cassandra, I spotted it this morning, he was chuffed, in his usual understated way. A little smile at me and a "that's cool!" I will reply to everybody's wonderful comments probably tomorrow. What I will say now is, you know me well, I do wear my heart on my sleeve, when the time is right. Though it is virtual, I feel that I have a great friendship with you, and it is one of the big positives from my 365. x
posted November 23rd, 2012  
I saw this last night Sean and didn't want to just glibly bash out a comment.... I have been thinking about this photo, about Ben's condition and how worried and scared you and Rebecca, as parents, must have felt and feel at times. I know how gut wrenching and immoblising it is when someone you love is ill or undergoing surgery/treatment in hospital. But Ben looks a stoic and brave young man and has not let his condition deter him from as normal a life as he can have. You sound a very upfront and caring man Sean, someone who has taught his sons well, they are very fortunate boys, you all have - as you say- a lot to be thankful for. I was not sure that it was right to 'fav' this, but I have done so for your heartfelt and searingly honest comments and Ben's vulnerability and trust portrayed here.
posted November 23rd, 2012  
Lovely portrait and story, what an amazing son you have Sean, fav for me also Ben.
posted November 23rd, 2012  
Oh my Sean, I just saw this. What a wonderful picture, and such a moving and inspirational story. No family should have to be put through watching Their child be sick, but I think it will make you stronger.

I think the saddest part with kids being sick is that it takes some of their innocence away. I will pray for Ben that he continues to be strong, and for your family as well.
posted November 23rd, 2012  
@seanoneill *closed hand heart thingie*
posted November 23rd, 2012  
This is the beauty of this community, we share things that makes us closer, as if like a relative or family. My warm hug!
posted November 23rd, 2012  
Very moving. And what a great portrait too!
posted November 23rd, 2012  
Awesome! One day Ben might be a parent and when he does he will fully understand this picture and your words. You are both lucky to have each other.
posted November 23rd, 2012  
Poignant, potent, heart warming and rending. What a perfect Thanksgiving post! Fav
posted November 23rd, 2012  
What a truly amazing family you all are, facing danger certainly brings one closer and you sound such a close knit family. So brave of Ben to let you post this, I take my hat off to him, you have created a very powerful, moving image...well done all of you..........+fav
posted November 23rd, 2012  
Beautiful post, and what an amazing young man he is. I have always said scars are life's tattoos that really tell a story.. And his is an awesome story.
posted November 23rd, 2012  
What a handsome looking young man - does he take after his father then? :) It's also a great photo in many ways, the lighting is great and the black and white contrasts work really well. Best of all is Ben's expression, obviously I don't know him but to me it says 'This is me'. He looks confidently into the camera and that really makes you think. Being a parent opens you up to so many feelings - the best but also the potential for the worst when your child is under threat. Thankyou to you and Ben for posting this. There's not many images that make you stop and really think. x
posted November 23rd, 2012  
Lovely post..thanks for sharing such a personal experience. FAV!
posted November 23rd, 2012  
Brave and moving post. My hearty wishes of good health and a promising future for Ben. Wonderful portrait! fav!
posted November 23rd, 2012  
This is such a beautiful portrait and an amazing story. So much honesty and strength in that face. I don't think any photo has brought a tear to my eyes on here but this one did. I have 2 boys too and often have this irrational fear that something may happen to them. Your family's courage is admirable and an example to live life to the fullest.
Well done on this beautiful portrait
posted November 23rd, 2012  
Wow, what a brave and moving post and photo. You are strong and amazing people. Hope Ben continues to have good health and good fortune. What an amazing portrait.
posted November 24th, 2012  
@seanoneill Ahem.... he's on the home page ;)
posted November 24th, 2012  
On one hand this breaks my heart. On the other, I see such strength in him that it is very uplifting. I'm glad you posted it. What an awesome portrait! Fav.
posted November 24th, 2012  
Congrats to both you and Ben for making PP.
I've never heard the term 'made up' before, but I assume it's comparable to 'jazzed'. Rightly so.
posted November 24th, 2012  
What a wonderful portrait. Ben is a true inspiration, what a courageous and strong young man! Brilliantly photographed :-)
posted November 24th, 2012  
Also did you know Ben has made the 365 home page?
posted November 24th, 2012  
what a beautiful tribute to your son , sean...such a loving father...is blessed with two wonderful sons...teach them the way..and they shall not wander...i just love what you said...he is your hero...that speaks volumes..FAV and congrats on the P.P. and Home Page..Gods Blessings..
posted November 24th, 2012  
How brave of him to show this photo. It's lovely that you share so much of your family life with us.
posted November 24th, 2012  
It's great that he feels confident enough to show the scars, a lot of people become so self conscious of them but I think they should be celebrated as reminders of who we are and how we got to today, if that makes sense.

This photo, and your words, are an excellent reminder to us all of things to be thankful for as well as cherishing the important things and remembering that there is always someone is a worse situation.

I'm glad this made the PP as it's a very worthy photo.
posted November 24th, 2012  
Im so moved by this photo. Your son is amazing for all that he has gone through in his 13 years. God bless you and your family. Also tell him thank you for letting you share with us. A fav for me.
posted November 24th, 2012  
thanks for the reminder Sean...that was the reason i came to the shot in the first place..i just love it! i will try and resend today you can delete your e-mail if you want to ..i wrote it down. Thanks..but i think i found out the problem i was spelling your last name with just one L...at the end...my eyesight is terrible and i refuse to wear the reading glasses as they make me so dizzy!
posted November 24th, 2012  
Lyn
heartrending. . .I appreciate so much that you - and Ben - felt that you had the ability to share this with us. This kind of shared experience is, I think, what helps other people in our world walk through the trials and tribulations they are handed. Bravo to all of you. . .and especially to young Ben in his courage and steadfastness.
posted November 24th, 2012  
what a great portrait Sean and you brought tears to my eyes...what a brave and good looking boy - always amazes me those who have far tougher times in life than maybe we ever will - and are so stoic and happy with their lot. thanks you both for sharing this
posted November 24th, 2012  
Great tribute to your handsome, brave son. He's an example to us all.
posted November 24th, 2012  
As a mum of 2 myself this post really struck a chord. Like you say the scars are only skin deep, but also a reminder to you all of what a brave, fighter of a son you have, and how lucky you are to have him. Keep fighting Ben.
posted November 24th, 2012  
Wonderful photo. Beautiful words.
posted November 25th, 2012  
what a handsome son you have ..... scars are only skin deep but a reminder of how brave you have all had to be ..... Fav :)
posted November 25th, 2012  
I have great pleasure in knowing this guy and brave is as big an understatement as can be said .
Wonderful photo, excellent mood - fav
posted November 25th, 2012  
What a brave son you have and I hope his postiveness takes him beyond his wildest dreams. Good luck with the future and I think this is a very couragous shot and you've certainly done him justice.
posted November 25th, 2012  
Love you, Sean, and your wonderful children. Hugs. Such a poignant photograph. Tears come, in happiness and sadness.
posted November 25th, 2012  
Such a fabulous picture and thankyou for sharing - I have previously posted pictures that carried a lot of emotional significance, and the positive reaction from other 365ers has really meant a great deal to me.
posted November 26th, 2012  
Sean this is a wonderful photo & Ben should be a hero in everyone's eyes! Also man, he is going to have to beat the girls off in a couple of years time :)

Absolute FAV :)
posted November 26th, 2012  
@happypat Thank you Pat, my own parents lack of love and affection for me taught me that lesson, and i think it is so important to make children feel secure and loved. Thanks for faving Ben. The reaction to this photo and post makes us both feel 10ft tall.
posted November 27th, 2012  
@kwind Thank you Kim, yes you are right, he has an inner strength that many of us will never have. Thanks for the fave too.
posted November 27th, 2012  
@filsie65 Thanks Phil, yes they do. He has always been very photogenic. He gets this from his mum :))
posted November 27th, 2012  
@automaticslim Thank you my friend. It was always a risky shot but the reaction has made it worth it. Thanks for the fave too.
posted November 27th, 2012  
@mindella Thank you Mindy, yes he is an inspiration to me everyday, both my kids are.
posted November 27th, 2012  
@bazanderson Thanks Baz, I appreciate what you've said there. He is so inspiring. You couldn't meet anyone with a sunnier disposition.
posted November 27th, 2012  
@strachs Thank you Sarah, he wears his scars as a badge of honour and has always been very open about his life. I think it helps him a lot. Thanks for the fave, it means such a lot on a shot like this.
posted November 27th, 2012  
@ruthhowell Gosh Ruth what a tough time your family has had and continues to have. I feel blessed reading about your family. It is true, the grass is rarely greener on the other side of the fence. I wish you and your family the strength and courage that you will need, and especially a strong recovery for Mikey.
posted November 27th, 2012  
@ozziehoffy You know me well Cassandra, I have always worn my heart on my sleeve, I think it was my upbringing which lacked love and affection. I am determined to give my own children the opportunities denied to me, and teaching them that showing your feelings is a good thing is one of them. I can truly say likewise, that it has been one of my 365 highlights to have met you and become a good friend. Closed hand heart thingie back at you my dear friend. X
posted November 27th, 2012  
@seanoneill You put tears in my eyes, Sean. I think that there is some soul mate friendship across the waters with you and I. So many similarities with life that it's probably why we "get it". Your boys and wife are lucky to have you in their lives :)
posted November 27th, 2012  
I don't know what to say that's already been said above. Good to hear you two have such a good relationship. It needs another Fav.
posted November 27th, 2012  
Sorry this is delayed, but this a fav. Reasons should be clearer in the comment I posted awhile ago above.
posted November 28th, 2012  
@pasadenarose Thank you for such a thoughtful response and for your PP congratulations too. When it happens to you, the only way is to just get on with it, and it certainly gives you strength, ben particularly. We have so many reasons to be thankful for every day. Made up means very pleased!
posted November 28th, 2012  
@anazad511 Thanks Ana, I only wish non invasive was available to us. As medicine makes rapid strides forward, we can only but hope.
posted November 28th, 2012  
@jodimuli Thank you Jodi, that is good of you.
posted November 28th, 2012  
@gprosper26 Thank you Gina, I do hope so.
posted November 28th, 2012  
@jantan He is Jan, we all are. I never imagined that this would happen!
posted November 28th, 2012  
@tishpics Thank youi Pat, I have lots of bad points too, you just don't see them on 365! But Ben is a joy to have as a son, even as he starts his teenage years. You can see from this and other shots how much I love Ben, Sam and Rebecca. You are right, he is defiant, and he does have great dignity. Thank you so much, your well thought out words mean so much to me. You are a good friend already.
posted November 28th, 2012  
@centermd Thank you Micah, I am takingh my time over a few days to reply personally to everyone who posted. I saw your post and I was very grateful to hear from someone who is young and faces their own challenge in life. It was very sad to read about your brother, and yes you are so right. We all are so helpless when they are in theatre, the worst thing I have ever had to do in my life is say goodbye to him in the anaesthetic room, so you and your parents will know what I mean there. You are a very brave young man who has had to cope with so much himself and grow up quickly. I salute you Sir Micah, you are awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your story and sending me and Ben some of your bravery. You are what we say over here, a Top Man!! We all wish you the best of health and the strength to cope with your illnesses.
posted November 28th, 2012  
can't wait for this week's top20!
posted November 28th, 2012  
@seanoneill Thanks! I am still praying for your son Ben. Also still praying for myself. Thanks too for the support and for the good encourage ment. It was much needed.
posted November 28th, 2012  
@jackie8 Thank you for your post Jackie. I am touched so much that you thought to mull over your response to my photo and comments. It is very moving. You are right, I am scared to the core when his surgery approaches but try not to show him that. Ben is stoic, and has the brightest outlook on life, which has made me appreciate life more. When you have a child with health issues, you have to be philosophical and realise that there is always someone worse off. For now, I cherish every day with my beautiful family. I am a lucky chap.
posted November 30th, 2012  
@cathy366 Thank youi Cathy, I appreciate your lovely comment about Ben.
posted November 30th, 2012  
@reneeevans21 Thank you Renee. I have since read about your son Owen, and this makes your comments about Ben so poignant indeed. My heart goes out to you all, and you are all very much in our thoughts. Take care.
posted November 30th, 2012  
@titam Thank you, you are so right, 365 is the warmest community.
posted November 30th, 2012  
@miley89 Thank you Miley, much appreciated.
posted November 30th, 2012  
@dmortega Thankyou Dorrena, I am sure that you are right.
posted November 30th, 2012  
@jgpittenger Thank you Jane, your response to my post is equally as heart warming.
posted November 30th, 2012  
@fannyb Thank you Fanny. You are always so supportive of me, my project and my family, and I am eternally grateful. Your response means so very much to me. I am overhwelmed by the overall response to this photograph, it will stay with me forever.
posted November 30th, 2012  
@cheribug Thank you Cheryl, too true. He wears his scars as a badge of honour without doubt. Ben's story is one of courage without doubt, and he is an example to us without a doubt. He is also very lucky, because so many children are much are worse off.
posted November 30th, 2012  
Wonderful low key portrait and story of Ben. Thanks for sharing a bit of his and your life with us. A fav!
posted November 30th, 2012  
Oh wow. Very moving post and extremely moving photograph. Thank you for sharing Sean. I hope young Ben continues to get stronger and continues to be your hero! Kudos.
posted November 30th, 2012  
Yayyyy!!!! Number three in this week's top 20!!! RESULT!!! Congratulations!
posted November 30th, 2012  
Saw this in the Top 20. Thank you for sharing your moving post and this amazing photograph. Many many wishes for a happy and healthy future for Ben.
posted November 30th, 2012  
Sean.....outstanding. Bravo. Its an honorable thing you've done here, by sharing his story. This capture portrays so many emotions. Wonderfully captured. We're not taught how to be great fathers. We start out only knowing that we have to be strong, caring and protective of our children. We soon learn though, that most of that strength comes from our own children's courage and strength. Fav.
posted November 30th, 2012  
Congrats My Friend #3 on the Top 10!!! So Well Deserved!!! Love it!
posted November 30th, 2012  
Congrats on the Top3! Fantastic shot.
posted November 30th, 2012  
Just seen you are no. 3 in the top 20 with this photo... I'm so pleased for you Sean.....
posted November 30th, 2012  
Wow, congrats to you and Ben on your #3 spot.
posted November 30th, 2012  
Oh I missed this one!!!!! What a wonderful portrait!! Beautifully done Sean. I understand a little of what you say as we have a little 4 year old in the family who has had the first surgery......it's a long road. seems you have two wonderful boys, and they have a pretty sterling dad too! Congrats on #3!!!!!
posted November 30th, 2012  
Congratulations Sean and of course Ben on making #3 with this gorgeous portrait.
posted November 30th, 2012  
Congrats Sean! Number 3! Awesome, well done mate.
posted November 30th, 2012  
Wow, thanks for sharing. I can't imagine what that must be like for a parent. He looks like an amazing person. God Bless to you all and have a wonderful Christmas.
posted December 1st, 2012  
I had missed this. Powerful story and photo.
posted December 1st, 2012  
Oh my goodness Sean, I have only seen this post now. How incredibly strong your beautiful boy is, and I don't think anyone can imagine what your family has been through with every operation. Thank you for this beautiful photo and very personal and moving post; you are a dad in a million!
posted December 1st, 2012  
No. 3 for the week and such a wonderful portrait of a brave individual.
posted December 1st, 2012  
Powerful, inspiring and so moving. Wow. Fav from me.
posted December 1st, 2012  
Wow, Ben is such an inspiration! I don;t know how I missed this, but congratulations on number 3 for the week!
posted December 1st, 2012  
Well, you just made me cry.
God bless Sean. I see the strength in him and know he will be just fine. Prayers for all of you. I can surely see why this was a struggle for you - but the shot and the boy are both winners.
posted December 1st, 2012  
Absolutely beautiful in more way than one. Sincere congrats and FAVed.
posted December 1st, 2012  
Incredible story and photo... I love the way you lit the photo to create what you've got here. It's a beautiful portrait and one I'm sure he'll treasure always :)
posted December 2nd, 2012  
@seanoneill Wow, go the Top 20, in at number 3! Congratulations to both you and Ben :)
posted December 2nd, 2012  
Congrats on number 3 Sean!
posted December 2nd, 2012  
Oops and fav
posted December 2nd, 2012  
Congrats to you Sean, well deserved portrait in the top 20, and to Ben for being an inspiration to you and i am sure many others
posted December 3rd, 2012  
WOW! What a fabulous portrait. Fav! Looks like I had forgotten to look at your other albums Sean!
posted December 5th, 2012  
I've just now had time to come and look at the top 20 and so have just seen this portrait of Ben. Thank you both for sharing Ben's story and congratulations on No. 3! Both the portrait and Ben's willingness to share it with us are beautiful.
posted December 6th, 2012  
I am really sorry I missed this one Sean. This is such a superb, touching and incredibly meaningful portrait. I have so much respect, admiration and love for Ben, you and your gorgeous family. You are so blessed to have your sons and your sons are so blessed to have you. Massive FAV not only because of your wonderful portrait of Ben, but because this is such a powerful, touching and beautiful. Much love to you all!!

My number one favourite photo on 365! FAV!!
posted December 6th, 2012  
That is a very moving post so much so it moved me to tears. My daughter died 20 days after she was born so I think the mention of hospitals and operations and knowing what it's like to stand by and wait, as a parent is something I understand. Your respect for your sons is wonderful, with two children at 3+1/2 and 1 I can't wait for our relationships to blossom.
I came across your work via one of your lovely Bokeh shots and look forward to the rest of your year as I follow. Thank you for sharing.
posted December 8th, 2012  
Beautiful and moving portrait. Very powerful. Excellent in so many ways. Ben, you're an amazing human being. Sean, you are blessed. Thank you both for sharing this photo and story. I am moved. Major fav from me.
posted December 11th, 2012  
A beautiful photo, and very touching story to accompany it!!! Congratulations on raising such a brave young man!!!
posted December 12th, 2012  
I saw this earlier and tried to comment, but I felt speechless. As a parent I can only imagine all of the emotions you have felt through it all from sheer terror to immense pride. Your son is amazing and lucky to have parents who love and support him like you do.
posted December 19th, 2012  
I saw this on the all time favourite topic and had to fav it myself. Your words only strengthen that.
Your youngest shares a name with my eldest. My days of sitting in a hospital hoping for the best outcomes for my children are hopefully now behind me, I hopethat you don't need to endure many more of them and that Ben is able to lives a full and healthy life without the worry of future surgery.
A beautiful portrait and a beautiful model
posted January 20th, 2013  
This is a very powerful photo!
posted July 1st, 2013  
I appreciate the intimacy that both you and Ben have shared here. Fav
posted July 3rd, 2013  
Inspirational Sean. I had a triple bypass 11 months ago - a bit of a shock for a adult so absolutely admire Ben's courage and resolve. A lovely shot and touching story.
posted July 6th, 2013  
Such a moving image, what an incredible boy.
posted January 8th, 2014  
I can only agree with the other posts here. Speechless.And of course FAV
posted January 8th, 2014  
@japers45 @cazla @malc Thank you all so much, I am always humbled by people's reactions to this most personal of shots for me, and Malc, I am so sorry that I never spotted your original comment. I hope all is well for you now.
posted January 8th, 2014  
Very powerful portrait. I'm very pleased Ben had good news today. Fav
posted January 8th, 2014  
@rachelwithey Thank you Rachel. Me too!
posted January 8th, 2014  
Great photo. And good decision to post it.
We should all post this sort of stuff as it makes us aware of the challenges that some people face, and I hope makes us all thankful for the things we have.
That scar is huge, and I can imagine he just gets on with it.
I can imagine your pride in him.
Great portrait.
posted January 9th, 2014  
Wow, God bless him, bless you all. A beautiful portrait and profession of love. I admire Ben's fortitude. He looks like a kid who will go places and do great things.
posted January 10th, 2014  
@seanoneill Not a problem Sean, I'm very fit and well and fully enjoying my new lease of life. Still in total admiration of Ben's courage and fortitude and of course for the rest of you :)
posted January 10th, 2014  
I have seen this photo before but I can't believe I never commented especially since its such a powerful shot. Ben has been through a lot, he is a tough lad and very brave. Its great that you took this wonderful shot and its fabulous that you and Ben have allowed us into this part of your lives.
posted January 12th, 2014  
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