Any parent who has a child in a medical setting knows they need comfort to get through the scary parts. Parents want them to be comforted whenever possible.
That’s why when mother Layla Thompson saw her 5-year-old son Slade being cradled by a nurse, she was filled with gratefulness.
Slade had been through surgery on his tonsils and nose. After the operation, his parents weren’t allowed to enter the room for a few minutes. But Slade was feeling frightened. He woke up crying, so he turned to one of his nurses, Annie Hager, and asked her to snuggle him.
Hager has two children of her own, and she didn’t hesitate.
Wrapping her arms around Slade, she let him cry while burying his head in her chest. She knew how she would want someone to treat her own children if they were in distress.
“One hundred percent I would want someone to be there for my child,” she said.
Slade’s mom was watching the encounter from outside her son’s hospital room.
Tears immediately filled her eyes as she watched Hager comfort Slade, grateful for the nurse’s kindness.
Slade has spent a lot of time in medical settings for the past three years for problems with his Achilles tendon, but he has yet to be really comfortable around doctors and nurses. Thompson knew he must trust Hager implicitly by asking her to cuddle with him during a time when he was frightened.
At his follow-up visit, Slade remembered Hager and even brought her a bouquet of flowers.
In the meantime, Hager and Thompson have become friends. The Facebook page of UPMC Susquehanna, the hospital where Slade had his surgery, posted publicly to thank Hager for taking the time to give him some extra attention.
“When Slade Thompson of Renovo woke up from tonsil surgery, all he wanted was to be snuggled and cared for,” read the post.
“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.”
People all over social media praised Hager’s actions, thanking her for taking the time to comfort a sick, scared little boy.
But the best part is Hager’s newfound friendship with Slade and his mom. Slade remembers Hager and points her out as his friend who kept him safe when he was scared after his surgery.
It was the perfect story to come out during Nurse Appreciation Week. It showed how nurses go above and beyond their job description when caring for their patients. Slade and his family are sure to never forget her.
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