A mother’s post about the last day she spent with her 4-year-old son is going viral.
Ruth Scully lost her son Nolan two months ago due to an aggressive rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer in soft tissue.
Scully has been sharing Nolan’s brave battle with cancer on the Facebook page NolanStrong for 18 months. But it was only on Tuesday that she felt ready to publicly share her last moments with Nolan.
“Two months. Two months since I’ve held you in my arms, head how much you loved me, kissed those sweetie “pie” lips. Two months since we’ve snuggled. Two months of pure absolute hell,” she writes, describing the pain she feels as “agony unlike any other.”
When she brought Nolan to the hospital for the last time, she knew something was different and something else was wrong. He hadn’t been able to eat or drink anything in days and wasn’t able to keep anything down. “I just knew, and strange enough, I think he did too,” she writes.
On Feb. 1, their oncologist delivered the bad news. Scully was told that CT scans revealed large tumors that compressed Nolan’s bronchial tubes and heart — just four weeks after he completed open chest heart surgery. The cancer was “spreading like wild fire” and it had become resistant to all treatment options. The best they could do was to keep him comfortable as he deteriorated rapidly.
Scully was gutted but steeled herself before returning to Nolan’s side.
“He was sitting in ‘Mommy’s Red Chair’ watching YouTube on his tablet. I sat down with him and put my head up against his and had the following conversation,” she writes.
“Poot, it hurts to breath doesn’t it?”
“You’re in a lot of pain aren’t you, baby?”
Nolan looks down and responds, “Yeah.”
“Poot, this cancer stuff sucks. You don’t have to fight anymore.”
“I don’t?” Nolan exclaims. “But I will for you mommy!”
“No Poot! Is that what you have been doing? Fighting for mommy?”
“Nolan Ray, what is Mommy’s job?”
“To keep me safe!”
“Honey I can’t do that anymore here. The only way I can keep you safe is in heaven.”
“So I’ll just go to heaven and play until you get there! You’ll come right?”
“Absolutely! You can’t get rid of mommy that easy!”
The following day Scully made the necessary preparations and signed a “do not resuscitate” order.
“I cannot explain to you what signing an emergency responder “do not resuscitate” order for your angelic son feels like,” she writes.
They were all packed up and about to leave for home for one last night together but Nolan says to her, “Mommy it’s OK. Let’s just stay here OK?”
“My 4-year-old hero was trying to make sure things were easy for me,” Scully writes.
They spent the next 36 hours watching Peppa Pig on YouTube, having Nerf Gun wars and “[smiling] as many times as [they] could.” Nolan even drafted a “will,” picked his pall bearers and wrote down what he wanted to remembered as — a policeman.
At around 9 p.m., Scully asked Nolan if she could take a shower. She was nervous about leaving him but Nolan reassured her that he’d be waiting for her and curled up right outside her shower on the bath mat.
“They said the moment the bathroom door clicked he shut his eyes and went into a deep sleep, beginning the end of life passing,” she writes. “When I opened the bathroom door, his team was surrounding his bed and every head turned and looked at me with tears in their eyes. They said ‘Ruth, he’s in a deep sleep. He can’t feel anything.'”
“I ran and jumped into bed with him and put my hand on the right side of his face. Then a miracle that I will never forget happened.”
“My angel took a breath, opened his eyes, smiled at me and said ‘I love you, mommy,’ turned his head towards me and at 11:54 p.m. Sgt. Rollin Nolan Scully passed away as I was singing ‘You are My Sunshine’ in his ear.”
Scully’s raw and heartbreaking account struck a chord with readers, receiving over 850,000 likes and more than 100,000 comments, many of whom shared similar stories of their own.
“I’m a 30-year-old father of two and I cried in my bed reading this. I can’t even begin to fathom the pain you have been in,” writes Alex Rodriguez. “I just want you to know though, that your son has left behind a bigger and more meaningful legacy in his short life then most people do through decades of life on this Earth.”
“I was told I was cancer free today and it breaks my heart to know there are people that aren’t so lucky!” write Tiffany Renae. “So sorry for your loss.”
Scully caps off her post by saying, “My son died a hero. He brought communities together, different occupations, made a difference in people’s lives all around the world…. I look at everything he accomplished in 4 short years and can only think of what he could’ve accomplished with a longer life. We have to do better with funding, research, treatment options.”
“Now I’m the one terrified to shower. With nothing but an empty shower rug now where once a beautiful perfect little boy laid waiting for his mommy.”
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