A father’s decision to publish a heart-wrenching of his four-year daughter wracked in pain as she battles cancer has touched numerous hearts — including that of Harry Styles.
This photo of four-year-old Jessica Whelan, taken by her dad, was posted on the child’s Facebook page, where her parents have been chronicling their child’s brave battle with Neuroblastoma, and was eventually published in numerous British newspapers.
This is the hardest photograph I have ever made, it is in fact my own four-year-old daughter,” writes Jessica’s father, Andy, in the Facebook caption accompanying the photo.
“A few days ago she was given what is most likely only a few weeks to live after a battle against cancer that has been waged for over twelve months. This photograph was made in a moment that we as parents could offer her no comfort, her pushing us away whilst she rode out this searing pain in solitude. This sadly, for us as a family, is not a sight that we see rarely.”
Jessica’s anguish is impossible to ignore, and the girl’s father related to the Manchester Evening News that he later received a surprise phone call from Styles.
“It was a surreal moment when I got off the phone,” he said. “He is Jessica’s idol, she’s loved him since she was about 12 months old and followed him with her auntie Megan who’s liked One D since they started.”
“We’re mad Manchester City fans and he actually rang during the match the other night and I missed the third goal. Megan was teasing me about missing the goal so I rang and told her you can’t help these things when Harry Styles is on the phone. The next thing she was screaming and crying, she couldn’t believe it.”
Added Whelan: “I had a nice conversation with him and he was asking what he could do for her. He offered to FaceTime but because Jessica is so unpredictable at the moment and we don’t know when she might be sleeping or in too much time, I asked him whether he could record a video to us to show to her when she’s feeling comfortable. At least that way it’s something she can watch again and again.”