5-year-old Slade Thompson has had a pretty rough year for a kindergartener, after undergoing two surgeries within the last few months.
His most recent hospital visit was to have his tonsils removed, a painful and scary procedure for such a young boy.
“He’s been through a lot this last year,” said Slade’s mom, Layla Thompson. “We had been in a children’s hospital, so we were kind of nervous to go to just a hospital to have it done.”
But to the concerned mother’s pleasant surprise, her son couldn’t have been placed in better hands at the UPMC Susquehanna hospital in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
As she nervously waited for Slade to wake up from his anesthesia in the patient waiting room, an unexpected blessing arose in the form of nurse Annie Hager.
A team of nurses had to go check on the boy before Layla was allowed to see her son, but the frightened 5-year-old recovering from his surgery simply couldn’t wait to be consoled.
“When I told him mom couldn’t be there, he asked if I would snuggle him,” said Hager.
Without hesitation, the empathetic nurse replied, “Sure will,” before hopping into bed with Slade to hold him in her arms and dry his tears.
“You want somebody to treat your child the way that you would treat them, and so whenever I turned the corner and I saw them, I looked at my fiancé and said ‘awwwww,’ and we both started getting a little teary-eyed,” recalled Layla.
The touched mama snapped a picture of the endearing moment, and the photo has since gone viral.
“When Slade Thompson of Renovo woke up from tonsil surgery, all he wanted was to be snuggled and cared for. Not thinking twice, Annie Hager, RN, climbed right into the bed and snuggled the little boy. As a nurse, providing care is one thing, but making sure our patients are calm and comfortable matters just as much. It’s nurses like Annie – who show true compassion – that keep our patients happy. During Nurses Week, we thank our nurses for taking time to make personal connections with patients. Annie’s connection with Slade was so real that he brought her flowers at his follow up appointment.”
“I cried,” said Hager of the unexpected visit and gift. “It’s humbling.”
But according to her, she was just doing what any one of her colleagues would have done if put in the same situation.
“I’m sure anyone that works up there would have done exactly the same thing.”