Last Thursday, Humans of New York (HONY) shared a heartbreaking portrait and story of a mother and child in Pakistan, where HONY photographer Brandon Stanton has been traveling in an effort to shed light on a country that is often misrepresented in the media.
“I left an abusive relationship and I have nowhere to go,” the woman in Lahore, Pakistan said as she held her young daughter in one hand and wiped away her own tears with the other. “I have Hepatitis C, so no one is willing to take me in. I don't know how long I will live. I tried to give her up for adoption so that she'd have a good home. The wife of a minister told me about a place where I could drop her off. But when I got there, I just couldn't bring myself to do it.”
HONY's next photo shows the woman standing next to a kindhearted young man who has been doing his best to help the mother and child, despite his own limited financial means. He told Stanton, “I'm trying to help her figure out her future. I was working at the Sunday market, and she asked me for help setting up a stand of her own. She told me about her story and showed me her bruises and marks. I'm trying to help her all I can, but my means are limited. My own income is only 2500 rupees a week and I'm getting engaged next week. I'm trying to set up a committee to donate blood because she really needs it.”
The pair of photos sparked an outpouring of support and offers to help the woman and her daughter. One commenter wrote, “I have a clinic in Lahore…a charity clinic. We have helped many Hepatitis C patients. Please send her contact info! We can help her.” Another commented, “I live in Lahore and I'm more than willing to help her. Her tears just broke my heart. This park seems familiar to me. Brandon, can you please tell any more details about her?” Overseas fans also chimed in with proposals of financial aid, leaving messages such as: “My heart literally sunk reading this. I'd be more than happy to give some money to financially support this amazing woman. And I'd lend her both my shoulders to cry on. You are not alone, you gorgeous, courageous human! Your daughter will be your shining light in this dark time. Sending all my love from Australia.”
A day later, HONY announced that the woman had been found and set up with someone in Lahore who can connect her with those who wish to help. According to the photographer, the woman is hoping for people who can aid her with medical services or accommodation, rather than cash donations. “Based on the outpouring of offers and support from yesterday, hopefully we can help her heal and get back on her feet,” HONY wrote, thanking his 14 million readers around the world for banding together to change the lives of a mother and her child for good.