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Miss Delta: The story of a Tiny Hero

Recently I was given the honor of photographing a miracle. A little, tiny, adorable miracle!! A miracle that is the definition of hope, strength, prayer, and courage. That little miracle is Miss Delta…

Delta Lorraine Gerhart Calderhead was diagnosed in July 2016 at 22 weeks gestation with CDH (congenital diaphragmatic hernia). She was given a 10% chance of survival by doctors in both Knoxville and Nashville. Her parents were advised to abort their baby girl as she would have many health issues and not much quality of life. They just couldn’t take this as an answer. Abortion is against their beliefs so they went searching for hope. They found that hope through Facebook with a group called Tiny Hero.

Tiny Hero is a foundation that helps people get to DR. David Kays in St. Petersburg FL. Dr. Kays is a world renowned specialist for CDH and has the best chance for survival and quality of life. They made an appointment and flew to FL at 30 weeks pregnant. Right away they knew this is where they needed to be for the best chance of life for Delta. At 34 weeks they moved to St. Petersburg into the Ronald McDonald house.

Delta was born at 39 weeks on  November 21st, 2016 at 2:29pm. Mom saw her for a brief minute before she was whisked away to be intubated. She didn’t breath for the first 3 minutes of her life but her daddy was right by her side the whole time. Delta was then taken to another hospital where just a few hours later she underwent her first surgery that would save her life.  She had her repair surgery to put her organs back where they were supposed to be and to patch her diaphragm. This is where they discovered because of her organs being in her chest that her lungs were very small. She has 5% of her right lung and 30% of her left lung.

Delta fought so hard and she was finally able to get the breathing tube taken out at 13 only days old. Chris and Erin were finally able to hold their baby girl and hear her cry for the first time. After several surgeries and procedures delta was proving to be a CDH rockstar and was released from the hospital at 45 days old and was home at 53 days old!

For each procedure, each milestone, every surgery, every test, every blood draw or medicine she received during her stay at John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Delta received a bead to add to a string. Each bead represents something she went through and overcame.

These are Deltas “Beads of Courage”

If you would like to keep up with Miss Delta and her family, see more photos of her and her strong fight, or help this sweet, loving family out in any way here are a few pages you can head over to:


I hope you enjoy this Tiny Hero’s Pictures of Strength and Courage! blog1blog2blog3blog4blog5blog6

  1. Thank you so much Devon. We were the lucky ones to be able to have you capture her strength not only outside in this big world but also in the womb. You are amazing and we are grateful to call you a friend.

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