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Our first Instagram contest winner captures a lasting moment at the end of life

Instagram Contest Winner - Kate Carter

Kate Carter

Kate Carter's contest-winning image in which she holds hands with her grandmother Jean, who passed away last week.

Instagram Contest Winner - Kate Carter

Kate Carter

Kate Carter's grandmother Jean joking around in the hospital cafeteria shortly before her death. She told Kate to post this image to Instagram so her friends could see it.

Instagram Contest Winner Kate Carter

Kate Carter

Kate Carter's grandparents dance together. Carter found this photo as her family cleaned out Jean's house and posted it to Instagram.

Instagram Contest Winner - Kate Carter

Kate Carter

Instagram Contest Winner - Kate Carter

Kate Carter

Instagram Contest Winner - Kate Carter

Kate Carter

Instagram Contest Winner - Kate Carter

Kate Carter

Instagram Contest Winner - Kate Carter

Kate Carter


Kate Carter's grandma Jean slept in her hospital bed, a brief moment of rest amid a constant struggle to breathe.

A bout with pneumonia had sent the 91-year-old to the hospital where nurses attached a breathing tube and IVs to help her through what would be the final days of her life.

Kate Carter pulled out her iPhone and snapped a photo of their entwined hands, one of dozens of photos she took that day. That was two weeks ago. Her grandmother died last week.

Carter posted the photo to Instagram on her account @carterkate11 and later submitted it to KPCC's first-ever Instagram photo contest, a partnership with Instagram Lovers Anonymous. Her photo won.

The theme of the first contest was Express Yourself. We asked people to submit a creative self-portrait. More than 400 photos were submitted, and Carter's was one of the very few that didn't show the subject's face.

"A lot of people on Instagram encouraged me to enter the photo because it was so personal,"" Carter said.

Carter lives in a suburb of Philadelphia where she interns at Spillman Farmer Architects.

The photo of her grandmother's hand is a departure for Carter. She tends to fill her Instagram feed with photos of buildings and other architectural photography.

"With the photography, I'm a creative person, but I really like to be analytical and detail-oriented as well," Carter said. "Instagram has really been wonderful to be social and to talk to other people with the same interests as me."

The next contest will begin at the beginning of the month. To find out more and to play, just follow @KPCC on Instagram.


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