One mom’s open letter to her daughter’s pediatric oncology nurses goes viral

If you’re the parent of a child living with a serious illness, you know what a toll it can take on you—mentally, physically and emotionally. When Shelby Skiles’ 2-year-old daughter, Sophie, was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in May, she was devastated.

Since her diagnosis, the toddler has been in and out of Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, Texas for aggressive chemotherapy treatments. While the family has been through a lot during the last several months, Skiles took to Facebook to shine a light on a bright spot in their harrowing journey: the pediatric oncology nurses who care for her young daughter. In an open letter to these tireless nurses, Skiles thanks them for everything they do to make her family’s experience just a little bit easier:

“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,” she begins her letter.

She goes on to acknowledge the small acts of kindness the nurses perform each day, such as tenderly pulling off her child’s bandaids while saying “no owies,” trying to not make too much noise at night while the children are sleeping, and embracing moms who just received bad news about their child’s condition. She continues by detailing the selfless way the nurses go above and beyond to make their patients and their families as comfortable as possible:

“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,” she wrote.

She concludes her moving letter by letting these special nurses know that their work does not go unrecognized:

“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. Love, A mom that sees all you do and loves you dearly for it.”

Skiles’ post clearly struck a nerve, and has now been shared more than 25,000 times.

Skiles says that the care and compassion these nurses show their patients and their families is just an everyday occurrence.  “The nurses and techs do at least one outstanding and selfless thing each day,” Skiles told Us Weekly. “The ambulance drivers that rushed us to the ER in May sent us pizza at 2 a.m.”

Sophie will soon be transferred to Cook Children’s in Fort Worth, Texas for a STEM cell transplant. A relative has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the girl’s treatment.