Let’s face it, surgery is scary. My son recently had to have his broken arm reset in surgery and I was praying so hard that my tears and sweat were running together. So many things can happen and go wrong that the whole ordeal is just frightening for anyone. Now imagine what it is like for a young child to have to go through it. The fear of the unknown has been with us since God made man.
One of the nurses at UPMC Susquehanna Health in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, made a family’s day when she took the time to show kindness and compassion and help calm the fears of a frightened little boy.
Five-year-old Slade Thompson has been through two recent surgeries. Multiple doctors have been trying to figure out why Slade walked on his toes.
After different tests and then being diagnosed as a severe toe walker, Slade had to go under the knife at the beginning of 2019 as doctors tried to resolve his condition. For two months Slade had to be in a wheelchair.
His mother, Layla Thompson told WNEP-TV, “He’s been through a lot this last year”
“We had been in the children’s hospital,” she said, “so we were kind of nervous just going to a hospital to have it done.”
The second surgery was a procedure that would cauterize Slade’s tonsils, adenoids and both sides of his nose.
“Kids don’t typically come out of anesthesia very happy,” Slade’s nurse, Annie Hager, told WNEP-TV. When he awoke he was crying very hard and just wanted to be with his mom.
But his mother had to wait for the nurses to check his vitals. Seeing that he needed someone to hold him, Hager stepped in and saved the day.
“When I told him mom couldn’t be there, he asked if I would snuggle him and I said, ‘sure will,’” Hager explained.
Okay, I admit, I am crying a little now. This is the sweetest thing I have heard about in some time. All this fighting and hatred in the world today but when someone needed a snuggle, this woman didn’t think twice.
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I dont post things very often but this little guy touched my heart, and his mama's beautiful kind words and actions have brought tears to my eyes twice now! A few weeks ago Mr. Slade came out of surgery to the recovery room and was my first patient of the day. Let me tell ya, this little man was by far the bravest 5yr old I have ever met! Most kids scream their way out of anesthesia (to no fault of their own, it's a pretty normal response to all the stuff we give them) but Slade, although crying at times, was calm and sweet, but obviously scared and in some pain. All he wanted was his mommy who wasnt immediately available. He asked me if I would snuggle him and take care of him. I jumped right in that bed and snuggled up that little guy so fast! His small sweet request made my heart so full!!! His momma took this picture of us the day of surgery, and surprised me at work with these beautiful flowers and another BIG hug from my bestest little friend today! Layla Thompson I thank God everyday for people like you and your precious little man! I feel so blessed to have met you all that day and truly feel I've made some wonderful friends through it. This right here is why I LOVE my job. It is why I go to work everyday. Its moments like this that make it all worth it ❤❤❤❤
When Thompson was able to go see her son, she saw Slade being so well-loved and cared for, they were both overcome with emotion.
She decided to snap a pic of the emotional moment, originally just intending it for the family to see but decided to post the image online and it has since gone viral.
“As a nurse, providing care is one thing, but making sure our patients are calm and comfortable matters just as much,” UPMC wrote on Facebook.
“It’s nurses like Annie — who show true compassion — that keep our patients happy.”
“You want someone to treat your child the way you would treat them,” Thompson told WNEP-TV. She and Slade returned to UPMC with a gift and thank-you hug for the special nurse.
“This little guy touched my heart, and his mama’s beautiful kind words and actions have brought tears to my eyes twice now!” Hager shared on Instagram. “This right here is why I LOVE my job.”
“The parents can be calmer, kids can be calmer, everything just runs smoothly,” she said.
“I would tell other parents to confide in other parents who have had similar situations but also remember one bad experience with one person doesn’t mean you will all have that,” she cautioned. “Every person and case is different.”
Thompson also mentioned that Hager had even gone an extra mile further than they originally thought. You see, this was supposed to be her day off. She’d been called back in because they were running short on staff and thank the Lord she came back to work.
Pray for all nurses out there. They do an amazing job and get very little recognition for it. Thank them when you see them for everything they do.
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