Why This Newborn With Down Syndrome Is a Viral Sensation (PHOTO)

smiling down syndrome baby

When Kathryn Witt took her 7-week-old daughter Florence to a photo shoot with Katy Hibberd, neither of them were quite prepared for what happened next.

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Florence has Down syndrome -- yet as proud mom Kathryn from Ringwood, England, points out, "This won't be holding her back from anything! She's a treasure and a true blessing, and melts the heart of everybody she meets -- not just ours. She does love a photo shoot and is always posing."

And during this particular photo session, Florence did something that few babies this young ever do right when you hope they will: She cracked the sweetest little grin for the camera.

"I was taking images of her when she suddenly smiled," says Katy. "I was lucky enough to capture such a moment."

Kathryn posted this precious photo online -- and since then, it's spread far and wide, with over 158,000 likes and 88,000 shares on Facebook.

"The only reason I can think that Florence's picture went viral was not only the fact she happens to be pretty cute, but the fact that she does have Down syndrome -- and the eyes of people have been opened to realize that Down syndrome children are actually just the same as any other," says Kathryn, who is involved in a charity to raise awareness about Down syndrome called Downright Perfect.

More from The Stir: Mom Shares Beautiful Journey of Raising a Child With Down Syndrome

Katy theorizes that this photo's viral nature is also due to the openhearted nature of the Down syndrome community.

"There is a real warmth and love amongst the Down syndrome community, and I think the way this image went viral proves that," Katy says. "I hope people that aren't part of it will now be inspired to get involved and support Down syndrome families in their area."

For Kathryn, the most memorable comment she received about her daughter's photo had to do with the joy she spreads so effortlessly.

"My favorite quote that springs to mind is from someone who said, 'I have had the worst day ever and things couldn't have got any worse,'" Kathryn recalls. "'But then I saw Florence pop up on my news feed and my heart filled and everything bad was gone! Thank you for making everything OK, baby Florence.' This really did make us smile." 

Did this photo change the way you feel about Down syndrome?

 

Image via amor amor photography

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