In May 2019, Slade Thompson, of Clinton County, Renovo, Pennsylvania, was admitted to UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport Regional Medical Center for a tonsillectomy, the process of removing the tonsils, an incredibly scary experience for him.
Although it wasn’t the first time Slade had been in the hospital, he still had a hard time shaking off his fear because he was only five years old at the time. His mother, Layla Thompson, shared that her son was diagnosed with an unrelated condition at the age of two and has seen many doctors and hospitals since then.
Layla noticed that when her son began to walk, he had no weight on his feet and walked only on his toes. Eventually, the boy reached a stage where he faced difficulties putting his heels on the ground, for which he had to undergo Achilles tendon surgery in January 2019.
After a while, he fell asleep, and that’s when his mom saw the beautiful moment from the window.
After that, he had to use a wheelchair for a while, and then he learned to walk, like a child taking steps for the first time. He had barely recovered from his last test when on April 18 they had to remove his tonsils to help him breathe.
Comforting the crying child
While Slade’s parents did their best to stay by his side every step of the way, they had to wait outside while he underwent the procedure. Fortunately, the surgery was a success, but before his family could meet him, doctors had to check Slade’s vital signs and make sure everything was okay.
So, while Layla and her fiancé waited outside, Slade woke up after surgery, writhing in pain and fear. Annie Hager, a nurse at the hospital, said that when she regained consciousness, she cried and repeatedly asked for her mother.
Annie told the boy that his mom was sitting outside and that she would be with him soon. Then he looked at her and whispered, “I really want to snuggle. Will you snuggle with me?” Without thinking twice, Annie told Slade that she would gladly do it and climbed on the bed to hug him.
Click a photo of the touching moment
Asking the kind nurse for permission, Layla clicked a photo while doing her best not to have an emotional breakdown. She couldn’t help but wonder if Annie was a mother; Interestingly, when the two women chatted, Annie told Layla that she was the mother of two children.
“One hundred percent I would like someone to be there for my son,” added the UPMC nurse. Layla couldn’t help but appreciate Annie’s random gesture of kindness to her son, thinking that if she had been in his shoes, she would have done the same.
The Pennsylvania mom said her fiancé saw her cry and couldn’t help but reciprocate those feelings because it was touching. Although Annie could have easily refused to hug Slade because it wasn’t part of her job, she did everything she could to make him feel better.
The photo Layla took went viral, along with another photo of Slade and Annie flashing bright smiles. The two images were shared on UPMC’s official Facebook page in an emotional post on May 8, 2019. A portion of the caption read:
“As a nurse, providing care is one thing, but making sure our patients are calm and comfortable is just as important. It’s nurses like Annie, who show true compassion, who keep our patients happy.”
As of December 26, 2022, the viral post amassed 5,100 reactions, 645 shares, and more than 200 comments. Here are some messages worth mentioning:
On a follow-up visit after a few days, Slade was delighted to meet his new friend, Mrs. Annie, for whom he had brought two special gifts: flowers and a bear hug. Annie said she was humbled by all the love Slade showered her with. As for us, we can’t help but adore this unique friendship!
If you feel the same, share your comments on Facebook. Click here to read another story about a police officer who comforted a one-year-old boy after receiving a 911 call, and the sweet moment went viral.