After Shelby Skiles's 2-year-old daughter Sophie was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in May, she spent hours upon hours in the hospital watching her little girl get nursed back to health. While she was there day in and day out, something really grabbed her attention: the amount of hard work nurses and nurse technicians do to make sure their patients are comfortable. Shelby was so moved by what she saw, she wrote a heartfelt Facebook post, thanking them for all their hard work — and it's no wonder why it's gone viral.
Dear Peds Nurses,
(And incredible nurse techs!)
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 band-aids 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 carrying arm loads of medicine and supplies into one child's room all while your phone is ringing in your pocket from the room of another. I see you put on gloves and a mask and try not to make too much noise at night. I see you sorting piles of beads so you can give them to your patient to add to their ever growing milestone necklace. 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.
Shelby goes on to say that she knows how hard it is to put your own life aside for hours on end all while going above and beyond for other people's children:
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.
The best part? Despite all the long shifts and emotional nights, she thanked them for having a little bit of fun while getting their jobs done:
I see you using your phone as a template to paint the perfect cartoon character on the new kid's window. I see you cheering so enthusiastically for the kid taking laps around the nurses station. I see you with that Nerf gun hiding from the kid around the corner. I see you hold tiny hands, change dirty sheets, translate medical talk for parents, and wipe your eyes coming out of a particularly hard room. I see you put on gloves, masks, and a gown then pause before you hang an IV bag of poison chemo for my kid.
Even though parents with kids in the oncology ward are often too overcome with emotion to personally thank each and every nurse for their hard work, it certainly doesn't go unnoticed.
"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."
Sophie still has a long road to recovery ahead, but Shelby knows she's in good hands: "Love,
A mom that sees all you do and loves you dearly for it."