Andy & Kim | Columbus, Ohio Portrait Photography

In the past 6 months, I’ve listened and photographed some amazing stories. Stories that fill you with hope and leave your jaw on the ground. Some I’ve kept private and some I have shared. This story knocked the wind out of me. To say that I feel honored or even worthy of telling this story through photographs is an understatement. But thank you for choosing me, Andy. Your courage, strength, determination and positive outlook is an inspiration.

In the next few photographs you will see Andy…out of the hospital for less than one week after surviving emergency brain surgery. He is the picture of a miracle and God’s work in progress.

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I met Andy through the Bendora Wedding Gallery. He operates and owns Columbus Pro DJs….who I LOVE!!! I recommend them to every single bride I run into. When I got a call from him soon after the New Year asking for a session with his wife, I was so excited! Of course!! Then he told me the reasoning behind it….and I don’t think I could stop saying “Oh my gosh, Andy.” For at least 5 minutes.

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That is one wicked badge of honor, isn’t it? It was incredibly emotional as Andy recalled his journey; from the initial seizure that could have killed him to today. Kim saved him by calling the paramedics in time. The initial prognosis was not good. Their surgeon was not positive. Kim told me that she’d google the cancers the surgeon thought it could be and would be devastated to see the low survival rates.

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They decided to wait to have the surgery until after Christmas (just in case.) On December 26th, Andy was back in the hospital unexpectedly with another scare. He stayed there until his surgery on December 28th. What the surgeon found was the best possible outcome…they removed a clot believed to be a cavernous malformation. Pathology confirmed it was benign and cancer free. Andy was on the road to a full recovery.

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Their sweet Ellie is their world. She was such a good girl!Hughes-4

The hand held prayer crosses came from Andy’s God-mother, Aunt Carol. :: (In Andy’s words) It was a kind gesture that came from her. For some reason it comforted me. Who knows why. It felt and still feels good to hold and think about faith and puts me in a prayerful state. I am not a huge religious guy but the whole experience changed my perspective on some things. It is a daily reminder to be thankful.
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We shot this session on January 6th. Just SIX days after being released from the hospital. Remarkable!! Crazy, isn’t it?! I couldn’t believe how well he was doing. While we were discussing the logistics of the shoot I thought he’d want to wait a few weeks. He wanted to shoot asap. It made my heart soar when Andy said he wanted to document this time in their lives while he still had the staples in. He’s looking at life through a new pair of eyes and making every moment count. That…is freaking awesome.

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Kim, you are BEAUTIFUL!!!! I’m so so happy I’ve had the chance to meet you! The love you two share is the kind people search a lifetime for. You two are one of kind.Hughes-6

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Andy, my friend, I’m so thankful that you came out on the right side of this. You beat some pretty tough odds! I can’t thank you enough for choosing me to document this unforgettable time in your life. Cheers to you and Kim and many more healthy years!


ANDY + KIM (and Ellie too)

Together :: 28 years | Married :: 17 years | Clintonville, OH

KIM | Hometown :: Reynoldsburg | Fave Food :: Oh gosh this is a hard one. So many choices. Harvest pizza. Cherry goat cheese ice cream, most anything chocolate. Mostly sharing decadent desserts with Andy. And I love when we make s’mores in our fireplace. | Described by Andy :: kind, caring, sensitive, driven, compassionate

ANDY | Hometown :: Columbus, OH | Fave Food :: Too many to say, but a really nice prime steak with all the right sides is my splurge meal. | Described by Kim :: Sweet, loving, supportive, funny, loyal

 

Timeline :: Just a regular day on November 11th (day before Kim’s 50th BDay) That’s the day the seizure could have killed me. 6 days in
ICU and discovering the “thing” on my brain. Month later had another MRI and discovering it was growing rapidly. Had to make the
decision to open me up and see what it was and deal with the consequences. December 26th had another scare and put me in the hospital again until the day we had scheduled to have the surgery (Dec 28).

Recovery Status :: Going great. Recovering at a record pace. Just saw the doctor for my first follow up and he seems to be impressed.

The going statement was “be prepared, it could take 1 year or more to get back to normal” I will have occasional
moments that I need to take it easy – even more easy than I have been taking it – but I mostly feel normal and
can do normal things that I usually do. Still doing some Speech therapy but Occupational Therapy was fast for me.
I’m eager to do more.
February 4, 2016 - 3:41 pm

Angie - Well, now I’m crying but also feeling so grateful. You really never know what can happen! Thank you for sharing their story and the images you captured are so beautiful and full of emotion.

February 5, 2016 - 4:55 pm

Mary Ann - Oh Meg. What a story. I am so impressed by Andy and Kim’s courage and sharing this story. By doing this they have given hope to
others that are facing the same kind of battle with unknown results. Thank you, Andy and Kim.

February 11, 2016 - 12:58 pm

JennyBZ - Oh Megan.. I love this session so much. Ever since you told me this story I’ve been thinking about them. Such an amazing story. Such beautiful images. You captured them so beautifully.

February 11, 2016 - 6:24 pm

Carolyn Hughes - I can’t ever remember seeing my brother, Andy, smile in a photo before. Thank you for these wonderful images, and thank God for his health.