When Little Sophie first fell ill in May of 2017, her parents, Shelby and Jonathan, assumed it was just allergies. They took their daughter to the doctors when she started struggling to breath and scheduled to have an allergy test a few days later. Sophie’s doctor suspected asthma but it turned out to be much more serious.
One night little Sophie stopped breathing. Shelby and Jonathan rushed her to the hospital in an ambulance. At the hospital, doctors discovered a softball-sized mass in Sophie’s chest. She had T-cell lymphoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
Suddenly, little Sophie was on the line fighting for life. She was put on aggressive chemotherapy, but it failed to stop her cancer from spreading.
The cancer treatments affected Sophie’s ability to talk, eat, walk or use her hands.
Sophie’s parents spent every minute they could by their little girl’s bed side. Sophie’s mom, Shelby, had only one concern, her daughter and her health.
During this very difficult time, Shelby noticed a special nurse who was trying so hard to go unnoticed, but Shelby was watching.
Shelby took a photo while the nurse’s back was turned and posted it on the Facebook page that they had created to document Sophie’s fight against the disease. In the post she revealed everything she had observed during her child’s care. The post reads:
I see you. I sit on this couch all day long and, I see you. You try so hard to be unnoticed by me and my child.
I see your face drop a little when she sees you and cries. You try so many ways to ease her fears and win her over. I see you hesitate to stick her or pull bandaids off. You say ‘No owies’ and ‘I’m sorry’ more times in one day than most people say ‘thank you’..
I see all of those rubber bracelets on your arms and wrapped around your stethoscope, each one for a child that you’ve cared for and loved.
I see you stroke her little bald head and tuck her covers around her tightly. I see you holding the crying mom that got bad news. I see you trying to chart on the computer while holding the baby whose mom can’t-or won’t be at the hospital with her.
You put aside what’s happening in your life for 12 hours straight to care for very sick and something’s dying children. You go into each room with a smile no matter what’s happening in there. You see Sophie’s name on the schedule and come to check on us even when she isn’t your patient.
You call the doctor, blood bank, and pharmacy as many times as necessary to get my child what she needs in a timely manner. You check on me as often as you check on her. You sit and listen to me ramble for 10 minutes even though your phone is buzzing and your to do list is a mile long.
I see you. We all see you. No amount of snack baskets or cards can fully express how appreciated you are. You are Jesus to us every single day. Our children wouldn’t get what they need without you. Moms like me wouldn’t feel sane or heard without you. You save our babies and we couldn’t do this without you.”
Shelby’s heartfelt message touched nurses and parents who had experienced similar experiences across the world, and rapidly went viral.
Nurses jobs are very demanding and unimaginably difficult. They live through the worst times of patients’ and their loved ones’ lives day in day out and still remain ever so dedicated.
Unfortunately, little Sophie never got a chance to get healthy and express her appreciation to the nurses who fought along with her to keep her alive. Her little body just couldn’t handle all the treatments and the aggressive cancer any more.
Sophie relapsed again on December 22, 2017 and her parents decided to withdraw treatment and let their baby girl rest. They got to spend only thirteen days loving on her and enjoying their last moments until little Sophie passed away in their arms on January 4, 2018.
”My goal through this entire process has been to be transparent and honest and shine light on what really goes on during a battle against cancer. I haven’t sugarcoated the bad days but, I’ve also been able to show the great work the Lord has done throughout this. I hope to continue to do that as we continue on without her.” Shelby said.