Twin in viral hugging photo dies after battling rare disorder

Posted at 1:45 PM, Sep 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-07 17:30:41-04

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – One of the 11-day-old twin brothers whose first hug was captured in a recent viral photo has died of a rare disorder, his family announced Wednesday.

Hawk Buchmeyer was born with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, a hole in the diaphragm enabling a baby’s organs to move into his chest, according to Fox News.

The condition affects one in every 2,500 babies, according to Boston Children’s Hospital, one of the top-rated U.S. pediatric institutions.

“Our hearts are saddened this morning as our sweet little man was called home to be with Jesus,” Hawk’s family wrote in a Facebook post on a page created for the kids. “He went very peacefully and we know he’s no longer suffering.”

The twins were born at a St. Lucie County hospital in August, but Hawk soon required several surgeries and had been placed on a ventilator at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.

One night, Hawk’s brother, Mason, needed calming down.

The boys’ mom, Brandy Guettler, told WPEC a nurse suggested letting the brothers lay together.

“So we laid him there and all of the sudden, as soon as he felt Hawk, he reached his arm out and grabbed him and just started to smile,” Guettler said. “The two of them knew they were there for each other.”

Tommy Buchmeyer, the twins’ father, said the photo, which was posted Sept. 1, has been seen by 5.6 million people.

See the full story from WPEC here.