|Leslie Ann Bando, left, died in December 2015 aged 59, and Caitlin Hallock, 28, was devastated|
When her mum, Leslie Ann Bando, died of a sudden heart attack in December 2015 aged 59, Caitlin Hallock, 28, fretted about forgetting the sound of her voice.
But thankfully she can now playback audio of her mum using her soundwaves tattoo, via an app on her mobile phone.
Caitlin, a phlebotomist - meaning she is qualified to take blood - from Phoenix, Arizona, USA, thought of Leslie as her best friend.
Now a mum herself to Caden, 10, Jaxon, seven, Cali, six and Madilynn, one, she continued: "She was the best person in my life – the most selfless mum in the world.
"When somebody you love dies, the first thing you want is to hear their voice.
“Now, I can hear my mum whenever I want. It’s only around a two-second long clip, but it captures everything about her – how happy she was and how much she loved me.”
Caitlin can now playback audio of her mum using her soundwaves tattoo, via an app on her mobile phone
Just before Leslie's sudden death, she had exchanged texts with Caitlin, telling her she felt stressed about money, having recently sustained an injury that meant she had to take time off from her restaurant job.
Caitlin, who reassured her, added: “I got a call from my aunt, who lived with Mum at the time saying she’d found her about 15 minutes later, collapsed and unresponsive.
“She’d died of a sudden heart attack. I didn’t understand, I’d spoken to her just before.
“I don’t know for sure if it was caused by stress. It's not the kind of thing you ever imagine would take a life.”
In the wake of her mother’s unexpected passing, Caitlin had a number of tribute tattoos, including a clock displaying the exact time of her death, a rose to mark her love of gardening and some of her handwriting.
Then in late 2017, Caitlin’s husband Shane, 29 – a tattoo artist – was researching new ideas for his designs, when he came across soundwave inkings.
A way of making tattoos both visual and audio, they work by converting sound clips into printed soundwaves, which can then be played using an app called Skin Motion.
Intrigued, Shane registered to become a certified artist and, soon after, created his first inking.
Impressed by the results, in January 2017, Caitlin had one too.
“It’s really special that it was Shane that did it,” she said. “It’s like a gift from both him and Mum.”
Before Shane could tattoo her, Caitlin scoured Facebook to find a suitable piece of audio.
Not a great one for videoing events, initially she struggled.
|Before Shane could tattoo her, Caitlin scoured Facebook to find a suitable piece of audio|
She said: “It was perfect. I knew as soon as I heard it that was the one.”
Once her inking was complete, she took a photo of it and uploaded it to the Skin Motion app to wait for them to activate it, which cost her around $40 (£28).
Then, 24 hours later, with activation complete, she could finally play her inking.
She added: “I got up early one morning before work, noticed the activation was done and decided to play it.
“It really got me. It was so emotional hearing her.”
Caitlin has revealed how, for the last month, she has been regularly listening to Leslie wishing her a happy birthday by holding a phone over her amazing new inking, adding: "Now I can hear my mum whenever I need to."
Now, Caitlin plays the tattoo a couple of times a day – often to her four children, who love listening to their grandma’s voice.
She continued: “Soundwave tattoos are so cool, I’d definitely recommend them. There are so many things you can do with it, it doesn’t necessarily need to be for someone who has passed away.
“Losing a parent so young isn’t something you ever think you’ll go through, so you can take the little things for granted, like being able to hear their voice whenever you like.
“But now, thankfully, I can once again.”
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