Photography by Kristin Janiszewski Photography
Meet Jack. He is Beauty Revived.
“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.” -Samuel Johnson
On October 1st, 2013, Catherine and Tim Murphy welcomed the birth of their second child, Jack Edward Murphy. This day would upend the lives of the Murphy’s into a stronger, more loving and appreciative family with the birth of Jack facing serious challenges from the early moments of his life.
Tim’s tensions already heightened would rise even higher with Jack’s birth and him witnessing the labored breathing and dark blue skin color of his son. After announcing that Jack was born, Tim was whisked away to sign transfer release papers from Prentice Women’s Hospital over to Lurie’s Children’s Hospital NICU. Jack was transferred before Catherine could even hold her son. A joyous day turned into a very stressful day, and Catherine would only receive updates via text messages and short phone calls from Tim over the course of 2 days.
Catherine was finally able to see her son Jack for the first time and was taken aback with the amount of support needed. The Murphy’s struggled with the environment in the NICU – almost to a breaking point – until Jack opened his eyes, looked at his parents and gave them the confidence that he would fight for his life.
For weeks, doctors struggled to understand Jack’s medical condition and ordered continuous, intensive medical exams that added more stress on Jack and his parents. One doctor expressing that Jack has a very serious genetic disorder, giving Jack 4-6 months of life expectancy. After weeks on edge, the Murphy’s were overwhelmed with excitement that all these tests came back negative for any life threatening issues.
However, the testing didn’t resolve the labored breathing and the need for oxygen and ventilator support. After meeting with the ENT team, it was determined that Jack would need a tracheostomy for one of the worst cases their ENT doctor has ever witnessed. A difficult decision for the parents with emotions ranging from sadness and anger to positive, resulting in making the correct decision for what was best for Jack. At just 6 weeks old, Jack went in for surgery. The first three days post surgery, Jack inhaled his first breaths on his own only to succumb to the ventilator after the labored breathing returned. He would now need the ventilator full time – but after three years, he is now off the ventilator for 16 hours a day!
After 178 days in the hospital, Jack was discharged from the hospital and headed home where he flourished with the loving care of his parents and his older sister Emma. Jack would now tackle life on his terms with the loving support of his nursing staff and therapists.
Therapists worked tirelessly to help him sit, crawl, stand, and eventually walk. When Jack would not participate in new tasks, he’d watch and take everything in, only deciding when it was the time he’d perform as if he’d done so for months! When Jack pulled himself up and started walking, with tubes and monitors attached, it was a moment no one could forget! He exhibited that with enough hard work and heart you can overcome the toughest of obstacles.
While Jack cannot speak, he always finds a way to communicate his feelings. When he’s happy he will clap, or tap your leg and show off his contagious smile. If he is upset he will sit down and throw a “Jack Attack” fit. When he wants to run around outside to try and keep up with Emma, he looks out the window or taps on the door.
Jack approached his first year in preschool with a positive attitude and eagerness to learn. He was building a block tower with his teacher and when they were done, Jack disagreed and went back to find more blocks to make it bigger. While it may seem small, it was a huge step as Jack was creating his own work and moving forward independently. He is also trying to verbalize which is extremely difficult to do with his trach, he executes the positive motions in mouthing and will eventually speak only to cross off one more challenge on his list.
Jack is a beautiful reminder of how we should all be – believing in the good of what can/will be; not wasting a single moment on something that isn’t fun or enjoyable, and enjoying the simple things in life. Jack is a fighter and determined to overcome his challenges. Jack’s perseverance is that of any great athlete and he will defeat any obstacle that comes in his way to overcome his challenges.
“I will never understand why God chose me to be the mother of such a special little boy, but I am so happy he did.”- Catherine Murphy
About the Photographer
I want you to FEEL something when you see my images. Feel that over-whelming love you have for your family, so when you look back on your photos years from now you’ll feel that same joy.
I’m a family, child, maternity and newborn photographer serving Chicago and surrounding areas with a studio in La Grange. After a ton of trial and error, mentoring with a few of the best in our industry, and gaining the most from documenting my own two crazy adorable kiddos and very patient husband, I found my creative voice. My goal is to capture a family’s whole story, especially all the in-between moments that make a family unique. My main mantra is that when you stop focusing on perfection and start focusing on connection, you will love what develops.
I’m a member Professional Photographers of America, and have been featured by Voyage Chicago, Beyond the Wanderlust, Beauty Revived, Shoot Along, Michigan Avenue Magazine and was named one of the Top Newborn Photographers in Illinois by Photography Magazine.