It was a photo that tugged at the heartstrings of people the world over - a healthy twin hugging his sick brother for the first time following their birth.

But the family of the two Florida boys featured in that touching shot have now confirmed that Hawk Buchmeyer, the brother struggling with a rare disorder, has died.

Hawk was born with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, a hole in the diaphragm enabling a baby's organs to move into his chest. The condition affects about one in every 2,500 babies.

'Our hearts are saddened this morning as our sweet little man was called home to be with Jesus,' Hawk's family wrote in a Facebook post on a page created for the kids.


'He went very peacefully and we know he's no longer suffering.'

Hawk, who had undergone numerous surgeries since his birth, was being treated at Shands Children's Hospital at The University of Florida in Gainesville, Fox News reported.

Mason and Hawk's parents, Brandy Guettler and Tommy Buchmeyer, created the Facebook page for the twin brothers to keep family and friends updated on the condition of the newborns.

The photo that was posted of Hawk being hugged by his brother, Mason, was taken 11 days after they were born, and was the first time the two had touched since leaving the womb.

According to the family, as soon as Mason felt Hawk, he reached over, grabbed his brother's arm and smiled.

The Facebook photo has since been shared over 6 million times.

His mother, a nurse from Fort Pierce, says it was actually Mason who needed calming down the night the photo was taken.

'He was actually getting really fussy,' Brandy Guettler told CBS 12.

'And the nurse said why don't you try laying him down next to Hawk. I said 'Can you do that?' So we laid him there and all of the sudden as soon as he felt Hawk, he reached his arm out and grabbed him and just started to smile.

'The two of them knew they were there for each other.'