Shelby and Jonathan have a daughter named Sophie who is currently fighting for her life. When the sweet little two-year-old wasn’t feeling well, Shelby thought it was just allergies.
A follow-up appointment with the doctor didn’t uncover anything concerning and she was diagnosed with asthma. Shelby scheduled Sophie for allergy testing but one night, Sophie stopped breathing.
The Skiles family followed her in the ambulance to the hospital and that’s where their world changed forever. Doctors discovered a softball-sized mass in tiny Sophie’s chest.
The toddler was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma and has spent months enduring terribly aggressive chemotherapy treatments. Even though Sophie’s body fought hard, her cancer still spread.
The chemotherapy has impacted her ability to walk, talk, use her hands and eat. She’s currently undergoing therapy to prepare her weakened body for a stem cell transplant.
Sometimes the days run together and Shelby forgets to take care of herself, since she’s so busy looking out for Sophie. To keep family and friends informed of Sophie’s progress and to have some semblance of contact with the world outside the hospital room, Shelby set up a Facebook page called Sophie the Brave.
It was one particular post Shelby shared that has since gone viral. Moms with sick ones everywhere have rallied behind Shelby for what she’s said about the nurses.
“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.'”
Shelby shared that she watches the nurses carry armloads of medicine and supplies into one ill child’s room while their phones are ringing for help in another room. She sees them sorting piles of beads for patients so they can add to their milestone necklaces.
“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 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 credited the nurses who pop by and visit her daughter even if she isn’t their patient and for sitting with parents facing the unknown when their own on-the-job to-do list never stops growing.