Sophie Skiles was a regular, happy toddler when she began having breathing problems earlier this spring. She had even been hospitalized for it, needing breathing treatments and steroids. But after yet another episode, everything changed: with this hospitalization, Sophie was, according to a GoFundMe page set up for her medical expenses, “diagnosed with T-Cell lymphoma and a tumor on her heart that is the size of a baseball.”
In short, she has aggressive cancer.
On Sophie’s Facebook page, Sophie the Brave, her mom Shelby has been detailing Sophie’s fight. And you can’t go more than a few words without realizing that Sophie’s family has a deep, deep faith in Jesus. Despite their daughter’s fight and the agony of watching her go through hard treatments and a hard disease, they seem to be always praising Jesus. In one post, after she encountered another pediatric cancer parent who was asking “What did I do to cause this?” Shelby says,
How do people do this without Jesus?
I can say with complete peace that God didn’t allow this or cause this to punish us. He is using it though to show us just how much HE LOVES US and how good he truly is. Each step of this journey has been planned and laid out before the world was formed. He has carried us this far and no matter how good or bad or scary the next steps are, we are fully trusting that he will continue to carry us and lift us when we need it.
He is enough. He is bigger.
In post after post on her Facebook page, Sophie’s family’s faith will blow you away and ENCOURAGE you. And now, a lFacebok post Shelby wrote for Sophie’s nurses is encouraging countless people, nurses and parents alike. She wrote a letter to the amazing nurses who care for sick children, and it’s since been shared almost 15,000 times. She posted a picture of Sophie being lovingly cared for by one of her pediatric nurses, and wrote:
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 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 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.
You put aside what’s happening in your life for 12 hours straight to care for very sick and something’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.
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.
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.
A mom that sees all you do and loves you dearly for it.
I truly cannot imagine how difficult being a pediatric nurse is, but from the response she got on Facebook, I’d say Shelby covered it pretty well. I have been INSPIRED by this brave, Jesus-loving family and by the portrait painted here of the amazing medical professionals helping them as they navigate this very rocky road. Sophie recently received a bone marrow transplant in the hopes of curing her cancer and she’s currently still in the hospital working on rebuilding her immune system. I’m following Sophie’s Facebook page now so I know how to pray for them…hope you’ll stop over and join their prayer team, too.