Sophie was your typical 2-year-old until the day May 18, 2017 changed everything.
When Sophie became ill, her parents, Shelby and Jonathan, originally thought their two-year-old was suffering from allergies but they would soon realize how wrong they were.
She was having trouble breathing and her pediatrician had thought she might have asthma. He had order an allergy test scheduled for a few days later but Sophie never got to take the test.
A few nights later, Sophie completely stopped breathing one night. Her parents rushed to call an ambulance and a few minutes later they were all on their way to the hospital.
The doctors would tell them that Sophie was suffering from a softball-sized mass in little her chest. She had developed T-cell lymphoma, cancer. It felt like someone took the air out of the room. Time stood so still for that moment. How? Why? So many questions and yet no answers. Their young baby was suddenly in the fight of her life.
Chemotherapy failed to stop her cancer from spreading. The treatments impacted Sophie’s ability to walk, talk, use her hands or even eat. As little Sophie battled to hang on, her parents spent untold hours by her daughter’s side in the hospital.
Sophie’s mom, Shelby, never left her side.
Her tiny weak body needed a stem cell transplant.
As their world crumbled around them and life seemed to be slowed to a crawl inside the hospital, Shelby noticed a special nurse that was trying so hard to go unnoticed. But Shelby was watching.
After taking a photo while the nurse’s back was turned, Shelby posted the picture on a Facebook page that they created to catalog Sophie’s fight.
“I see you,” Shelby wrote as she revealed everything she witnessed during her daughter’s care at the hospital.
Mom Shelby writes:
“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 facebook post touched not only the nurses she wrote about but also other parents who had had been or going through similar situations.
These nurses jobs are extremely difficult as they live through the worst times of any parent’s life, over and over again, each day.
Sadly, Sophie never got the chance to grow older and say ‘thank you’ to all the nurses who fought to keep her alive. Her tiny body just could not handle all the treatments and the cancer finally took her.
She again relapsed on December 22, 2017 and the family decided to stop the treatment. Sophie was done.
Shelby and Jonathan got to spend 13 precious days of cuddling, reading, singing, watching movies, and loving Sophie until she 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”, says Shelby.
Please say a prayer for all nurses as well as this precious family and all families who have lost their children. This is not a perfect world and sometimes things happen we struggle to find the answers for but God knows are sorrows and right now I have no doubts that Sophie is in the arms of Jesus.