We often get contacted by families whose child has passed away some time ago and who only have a single polaroid or a few prints that are the only visual memories of their child. Many are very concerned about not having a digital copy and worry about the image deteriorating.
To look after these families, we have arranged a service with Prolabs in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane who can professionally and delicately scan these precious images. This is a free service, covered by Heartfelt.
It is preferable that images are hand delivered to one of the labs but if they can only be posted, please send by Express Post (with tracking number) to Atkins using the address and contact below. The labs will scan the images and either forward the high resolution files to Heartfelt or give them to you on a USB or similar.
Heartfelt will upload the images they receive to a gallery and retouch (if required) or potentially include additional files with different treatments (e.g. B&W). We will then send a USB and print pack to the family. Currently there is a limit of four images Heartfelt will cover costs for.
The Adelaide Lab, Atkins (who kindly process all Australia’s Heartfelt work) would like families to know they have a dedicated person to look after you and your photos, in a private area, for parents to feel comfortable when discussing their images.
The photos above are from mum Nikki. This is what she said.
"I can finally see my little girl as I remember her.
I want to share a story from long ago that has never left me. In 1982, I was just 20. I was married and expecting my much-longed for first child, I just knew I was carrying a girl. In the last three weeks of my pregnancy I began to feel increasingly unwell. At 38 and a half weeks, I knew it was time to have my baby, so my family gathered and waved me goodbye and my husband and I went to the hospital.
When we arrived, the nurse could not find my baby’s heartbeat so the doctor tried again with clips placed on my baby’s head. I could see a heartbeat on the screen. My doctor leaned over me and said, "I'm sorry but your baby has died". My husband passed out. “But,” I asked, “What is that heartbeat that I can see on the screen?” The doctor answered, “That is your heartbeat. We should be able to see two heartbeats, yours and your baby’s.” I remember turning my head to the wall and disconnecting.
My little girl was born at 2.55pm Saturday afternoon. She was 8pd 3 ounces and 51cm and perfect in every way. She had my curly hair and my husband’s eyes. I had never seen such a perfect baby.
When they asked me if I wanted to hold her, I said no. I did not know any better. My entire family came in to see her. When the time had come to take her away, they asked if I wanted a photo. I said no. I brushed my finger across her cheek and then she was gone. Three days later, after the shock had subsided, I asked for pictures. The nurse warned me that the pictures would not look as good as when she was first born, nevertheless I asked for them. That is all I’ve ever had of her… a few original polaroid photos, which were so precious to me but I worried what I would do if I ever lost them or they were damaged.
I went on to have two more beautiful children, but I have never quite come to term with my first baby’s death. I had no counselling, I had no support, and I dealt with it on my own. It has been over 31 years and only recently have I started to try and heal.
I am older now and have had a full life, yet I often think of my little girl and feel a deep emptiness. I wanted to have her photos made safely into digital files, and touched up, because they are all I have of her. I don't want to look at these photos and see a dead baby. I wanted a beautiful, peaceful memory of my first child, so I asked for Heartfelt’s help.
I cannot thank Heartfelt enough for giving something so beautiful to people who have suffered a tragedy. The retouching was sensitive, the images are beautiful and remained essentially the same, and having digital files to keep my beautiful daughter’s image safe is just so important to me. I finally feel some peace. This is such a valuable gift that Heartfelt gives to families and I feel quite emotional that after all these years I can finally see my little girl as I remember her.
The grief is still there but my little girl now has a face and a place in my world.
To everyone at Heartfelt, keep doing what you are doing.
Please contact your nearest Prolabs service:
89 Fullarton Road, Kent Town, SA 5067
(08) 8431 6755
4/7 Anthony Street, West End, Qld 4101
(07) 3255 1130
117 Thistlethwaite St, South Melbourne, VIC 3205
(03) 8376 8376
90 Abercrombie Street, Chippendale, NSW 2008
(02) 9319 0455