On May 18, 2017, Shelby and Jonathan Skiles’ lives permanently changed. Their 2-year-old daughter, Sophie, was having difficulty breathing and she was rushed to the emergency room. They were sent to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, where they were given news that no one ever wants to hear—their daughter had a tumor the size of a “large softball” in her chest.
Doctors diagnosed Sophie with T-Cell lymphoblastic lymphoma, and the little girl spent the next several weeks in and out of hospitals receiving treatment.
Recently Shelby penned a letter thanking the nurses who help to take care of not only children who are sick, but their parents as well.
When she was only 2-years-old, Sophie was diagnosed with T-Cell lymphoblastic lymphoma.
On a blog Shelby maintains to keep friends and family updated on Sophie’s condition, the 28-year-old estimated that her family has spent every day at either a hospital or rehab facility since Sophie underwent an aggressive form of chemotherapy in the beginning of August.
While the treatment saved her life, it left her unable to do basic things like walk or talk. Sophie is currently awaiting a stem cell transplant that will “eradicate any remaining bad cells and save her life.”
Over the past several months the Skiles have lived at the hospital or a rehab facility.
Since the Skiles have spent so much time at the hospital and rehab facility they have had ample time to observe a lot of what happens at a children’s hospital.
“It was like 3 a.m. and I was sitting on that uncomfortable couch in the hospital room and I couldn’t go to sleep,” Skiles told ABC News. “I just started writing down what the nurses do, and it just kept going.”
Shelby shared a letter on Facebook thanking the nurses for caring for her child.
Shelby began listing all of the ways the nurses helped her and her family, and her list included much more than just dispensing medication or making their rounds.
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’.
She mentioned all of the times she witnessed a nurse sorting through beads to give a child who is celebrating a milestone. She wrote about how she sees how careful they are to be quiet when they come while her child is sleeping and how they offer comfort to parents as well.
You put aside what’s happening in your life for 12 hours straight to care for very sick and [someone’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.
Thousands reacted to the letter of thanks.
Since it was posted the letter has been shared over 27,000 times and it’s touched so many hearts. Some of the nurses who have cared for Sophie over the past several months have even seen it.
Susan McCollom, clinical manager of the Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, told ABC News that she was happy to see that letter. She added that she wasn’t too surprised by it though because what Shelby described is exactly what her team does every day.
“Our job is very difficult, emotionally, physically and mentally and it kind of captured why we do our job and that what we do is not just a job,” McCollom said.
You can read Shelby’s letter here.