Shelby and Jonathan believed their two-year-old daughter Sophie was suffering from allergies when she became ill.
Her physician suspected asthma due to her difficulty breathing. However, it would soon become evident that the situation was far worse.
A few days later, Sophie was scheduled to take an allergy test. However, she never took the exam.
One night, her breathing ceased.
It is every parent’s worst fear. Shelby and Jonathan rushed to dial 911 for an ambulance. They were on their way to the hospital within minutes.
The doctors were only then able to confirm that Sophie was suffering from something significantly worse than asthma and allergies.
Doctors discovered a mass the size of a softball in Sophie’s chest. She was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma. Suddenly, the young girl was fighting for her life.
Unfortunately, aggressive chemotherapy failed to prevent the spread of her cancer. Sophie’s capacity to walk, speak, use her hands, and eat was affected by her treatments.
As little Sophie fought for her life in the hospital, her parents spent countless hours by her side.
Shelby, the mother of Sophie, maintains constant vigilance at her daughter’s side. Shelby was only concerned with how Sophie was being treated.
Her weakened body required a transplant of stem cells.
In this chaotic and challenging situation, the mother observed a special nurse attempting to remain unnoticed. However, Shelby was observing.
Shelby uploaded the photo to the Facebook page that Sophie’s parents had created to chronicle their daughter’s battle with the disease.
Shelby wrote “I see you” as she detailed everything she observed during her daughter’s care.
“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 going on in your life for 12 hours to care for children who are gravely ill or dying. You enter every room with a smile, regardless of the circumstances. Even though Sophie is not your patient, you come to check on us when you see her name on the schedule.
”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 touching message touched not only the nurses she wrote the post for, but also other parents who shared similar experiences and recognized the nurses as the backbone of the pediatric unit.
The difficulty of these nurses’ jobs is incomprehensible, as they witness the worst moments of any parent’s life on a daily basis.
Sophie never had the opportunity to grow old and express gratitude to the nurses who fought to keep her alive.
Her tiny body was simply incapable of withstanding all of the treatments and the aggressive cancer.
The second relapse occurred on December 22, 2017, prompting the family to discontinue treatment. Sophie was done.
Parents Shelby and Jonathan spent 13 days cuddling, reading, singing, and watching movies with Sophie before her passing 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”, explains Shelby.