Nurses Play Nerf Wars With Boy Battling Rare Cancer: ‘They Are Literally Angels on Earth’

October 11, 2019 Updated: October 11, 2019

A 5-year-old brain cancer patient got the respite he so desperately needed during a long stint in hospital. He and his father faced off against two nurses in an action-packed Nerf Wars battle, armed with foam pellets and superhero costumes.

Brave patient Drew Esposito’s boredom was momentarily obliterated in the crossfire. His father took to social media to share footage of the friendly battle, and the heartwarming clip went viral.

The Norton’s Children’s hospital’s hematology and oncology nurses took time to play with Drew, giving him a distraction from his treatments. ❤️

اس پر ‏‎People‎‏ نے شائع کیا ہفتہ، 21 ستمبر، 2019

Drew was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a rare brain cancer, on Christmas Eve of 2018. He had been experiencing headaches and vomiting spells, and his parents initially mistook the condition for a stomach bug. Parents Jeremy and Sondra Esposito of LaGrange, Kentucky, were devastated.

“There was a lime-sized tumor in the back of his brain that was blocking his fifth ventricle and it was imperative to remove it immediately,” Jeremy told People.

اس پر ‏‎Sondra Hutchins Esposito‎‏ نے شائع کیا منگل، 20 اگست، 2019

Drew had brain surgery on Christmas morning to remove the tumor. “While they gave us hourly updates from the operating room,” Jeremy recalled, “it was almost midnight that evening when our surgeon came in to tell us that he had gotten it all.”

However, the ordeal wasn’t over for Drew and his family just yet. The little boy, who has older siblings William, 11, and Katie, 7, faced extensive chemotherapy at Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, to keep the tumor from recurring.

اس پر ‏‎Sondra Hutchins Esposito‎‏ نے شائع کیا جمعرات، 15 اگست، 2019

“When you are stuck in the hospital for weeks at a time, you find things to pass the hours,” Jeremy explained. “When [Drew] was feeling bad, he would stay on his iPad or the TV for days, or even sleep due to the pain meds.”

As soon as the then-4-year-old started to feel better, however, his family had to get creative. So did the nursing staff. One toy, in particular, piqued the little boy’s interest: the Nerf gun.

اس پر ‏‎Sondra Hutchins Esposito‎‏ نے شائع کیا اتوار، 28 جولائی، 2019

“When he was feeling extra energetic he would want to have a Nerf War with Mommy or Daddy,” Jeremy recalled. “Well, eventually that turned into bringing the nurses in for battles!”

Drew had a mischievous tactic. “He would press his call button and say he needed his nurse,” Nurse Taylor Bergman told Inside Edition. “We’d walk back there ready and able to help him, and we would be bombarded with Nerf guns.”

اس پر ‏‎Jeremy Esposito‎‏ نے شائع کیا اتوار، 12 مئی، 2019

One day, Bergman and fellow nurse Meg Garl armed themselves with Nerf pellets and superhero masks and attempted to surprise their young patient. But Drew and his father were ready and waiting.

A 30-minute Nerf war commenced; the little boy came out victorious.

اس پر ‏‎Jeremy Esposito‎‏ نے شائع کیا جمعرات، 25 جولائی، 2019

Part of the battle was caught on camera. As one nurse ducks and rolls in the hospital corridor, rock anthem and Rocky III theme song “Eye of the Tiger” plays in the background.

Jeremy posted the uplifting clip on his Facebook page on Aug. 15, 2019, with the caption: “Just your average lunch break.” It was shared over 4,500 times.

اس پر ‏‎Sondra Hutchins Esposito‎‏ نے شائع کیا جمعرات، 15 اگست، 2019

“They are literally angels on earth,” Jeremy said of Drew’s nurses, calling their Nerf battle “an escape for our buddy.”

“They come in and act like they haven’t been working for 10 hours,” Drew’s mom Sondra added, praising her son’s nurses in conversation with Wave 3 News. “[They] play games and do the Nerf gun wars like the battle that you saw.”

اس پر ‏‎Jeremy Esposito‎‏ نے شائع کیا جمعرات، 15 اگست، 2019

As of September 2019, Drew has gone through five rounds of chemotherapy. His father credits his little boy’s determination: “He is an athletic kid with a bold but sweet personality and determined as the day is long,” Jeremy told People.

“As far as I am concerned,” Jeremy continued, “[we and the nurses] will be lifelong friends. These ladies and guys, in addition to the very adept and compassionate doctors at Norton’s, are forever burnt in our hearts as the saviors of our little boy.”

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