This June, Indiana teen Denise Altheide graduated from high school. Soon, she will be starting college and opening a new, exciting chapter of her life filled with new friends, new places and new experiences.
Before moving away from home, Denise wanted to leave something so her mother could remember her. But a simple photograph wouldn't do.
Denise's mother Faith was born deaf and lost her sight due to Usher syndrome. Her husband died last year and now that Denise is leaving home, too, Faith will be heading to Hellen Keller Institute to learn how to lead a fulfilling life on her own.
But despite all these obstacles standing in the way of their communication, the Altheides found a heartwarming way to keep their mother–daughter relationship strong: TECHNOLOGY.
Faith's social worker Patricia Ingram came up with the idea to create a 3D-printed replica of Denise's face. The bust would allow Faith to better remember her daughter while they're apart.
According to the Howard County online newspaper, Kokomo Tribune, Ingram was inspired by a video of a doctor who created a three-dimensional ultrasound image of a blind mother's unborn baby.
Ingram reached out to local teachers Ron Shaffer and Cory Howard, who kindly agreed to help. First, they had to take a bunch of photos to make an accurate model of Denise's face.
After stitching all the pics together, Shaffer and Howard were left with a pretty solid digital rendering that allowed them to bring the 3D printed model to life.
The entire crew gathered in Faith's home to present her with the project they've been working on. Needless to say, there were tears.
Watch the video below to see how this beautiful gift came to exist: