As a parent, there is no greater torture than watching your child suffer. Shelby Skiles wanted nothing more than to take her daughter’s pain away as the little girl fought for her life. And after weeks in the hospital, she realized she wasn’t alone in that wish. And this mom’s letter thanking nurses who cared for her baby girl is a powerful tribute to everyday heroes so often overlooked.
A Terrible Discovery
Life as Shelby Skiles knew it came to a screeching halt when doctors found a softball-sized mass in 2-year-old Sophie’s chest. A result of T-cell lymphoma, the diagnosis began a terrifying journey for Sophie and her family. Yet, despite the looming odds, this faithful family put their trust in God every step of the way.
As sweet little Sophie fought for her life, she bounced in and out of the Children's Medical Center in Dallas. Shelby created a Facebook page — Sophie The Brave — to keep folks updated on Sophie’s progress. There, she provided information on Sophie’s illness, the treatments and all that took place during this little angel’s cancer battle. It’s also where the family asks for prayers.
Shelby is living a parent’s worst nightmare. It was heartbreaking to watch her little girl suffer. There are crushing moments, like when Sophie’s head had to be shaved:
“Today we had someone buzz our baby’s head. Her very first haircut ever was met with fear and anxiety. She screamed in Jonathan’s lap the whole time and I cried.”
But Shelby talks about the bright spots, too.
What she noticed during her time by her daughter’s bedside is just how big of an impact pediatric nurses have. Whether they realize it or not, they’ve been the hands and feet of Jesus as they cared for Sophie, and all their other little patients.
Shelby turned to Facebook to give these unsung heroes the praise they so deserve. And in no time, the mom’s letter thanking nurses went viral.
Keep reading to hear Shelby’s touching tribute the nurses who’ve dedicated their lives to making a difference!
Mom’s Letter Thanking Nurses
“Dear Peds Nurses,
(And incredible nurse techs!)
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 carrying arm loads of medicine and supplies into one child’s room all while your phone is ringing in your pocket from the room of another. I see you put on gloves and a mask and try not to make too much noise at night.
I see you sorting piles of beads so you can give them to your patient to add to their ever growing milestone necklace. 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 using your phone as a template to paint the perfect cartoon character on the new kid’s window. I see you cheering so enthusiastically for the kid taking laps around the nurses station. I see you with that Nerf gun hiding from the kid around the corner. I see you hold tiny hands, change dirty sheets, translate medical talk for parents, and wipe your eyes coming out of a particularly hard room. I see you put on gloves, masks, and a gown then pause before you hang an IV bag of poison chemo for my kid.
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.
A mom that sees all you do and loves you dearly for it.”
Sophie fought bravely for months after this mom’s letter thanking nurses. But ultimately, she didn’t find her healing here on earth. While she initially responded well to treatment, a sudden relapse proved too great for her little body.
Our sincerest prayers go out to Sophie’s family, who, despite overwhelming grief, continue to cling to God’ goodness. For while sorrow like this may be great, God is greater.
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