The father, Matt Sooter, captured a heart-wrenching moment on camera when he witnessed his 6-year-old son comfort his 4-year-old daughter during her final moments as she succumbed to cancer.
In the emotional photograph, Jackson, the eldest son, can be seen gently stroking his sister Adalynn’s hair as she holds on to her last moments of life, just hours before she lost her battle with a brain tumor.
Matt wrote a poignant Facebook post as a tribute to his youngest child. In the post, he described the heartbreaking experience of witnessing his children bid farewell to each other. He expressed that it was not right for a little boy to have to say goodbye to his partner in crime, playmate, best friend, and little sister. He also lamented that this was not how things were supposed to be, but the broken world we live in made it so.
Matt shared that Adalynn’s condition had deteriorated in the days leading up to the photo being taken. Referring to his daughter as Addy, he revealed that her symptoms had rapidly worsened over the last day and a half. Matt described how Adalynn had woken up with her usual playful and lively self, but now she struggled to eat or swallow without difficulty and spent most of her time sleeping. As a result, she had been admitted to inpatient care, and Matt shared the likelihood that she did not have much time left.
Matt advised their loved ones to come and say their final goodbyes to Addy since she didn’t have much time left. Jackson stayed by his sister’s side and didn’t move, and neither did his parents force him to. Hours after Matt shared the picture, Addy passed away.
Addy had been fighting her illness for 18 months since doctors discovered a tumor growing on her brain stem. She had been diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DPIG), and Jackson had been by her side through it all. Matt shared about their poignant farewell and stated that it was a bittersweet moment but not unexpected. He mentioned that Jackson had always been amazing with his sister and took very good care of her. Matt also revealed that Jackson was still a happy little boy but missed his sister dearly.
The grieving father expressed how much they all missed Addy, but they also found comfort in knowing that they had done everything they could to try to help her and that she was no longer in pain.
After her devastating diagnosis, doctors had given Addy only a few months to live, but she exceeded their expectations by holding on for almost a year and a half longer.
Her parents were overjoyed when they learned that her tumor had started to shrink. Despite her remarkable progress, Matt knew that Addy’s battle was a losing one.
He shared that while they were doing everything possible to change the outcome, they didn’t expect to win this fight. They hadn’t given up, but it seemed like they were losing the war. Matt revealed that the family had accepted the fact that they might lose their daughter.