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Dad's heartbreaking Internet plea spurs strangers

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TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio father's simple Internet request for a photo of his infant daughter without breathing tubes covering her face is capturing the hearts of people worldwide.

Nathen Steffel posted the request just after his daughter died last week from complications of a tumor in her liver.

He says the response has been overwhelming. Steffel said Wednesday that he's received countless photos, sketches and paintings at the family's home in Kalida in northwestern Ohio. One person is sending a woven blanket with a picture of the little girl who was born May 30.

Steffel says all he had hoped for was one photo of his daughter. He says the outpouring has helped his family cope with the loss of their daughter.

David Valdez, a college student from New Braunfels, Texas, who has been painting portraits for several years, made a digital painting of Sophia within a few hours of seeing her father's message. He says he was having a bad day when he saw Steffel's request and painting Sophia's portrait brought him "some sort of sense of relief."

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