I don’t often cry when I read stories because of my tear ducts of steel. But every so often, a story comes along and busts down that steel—the waterworks flow. The story of four-year-old Nolan Scully is one of them.
Two months ago, Nolan fell victim to the ravages of Rhabdomyosarcoma, which is a rare type of cancer damaging the body’s soft tissue. It was a very sad day for Nolan’s family—it was especially hard for Nolan’s mom, Ruth.
Scully uploaded a series of photos on her Facebook profile in honor of Nolan, showing how Nolan dealt with his disease. She says during the “struggle,” he never wanted to leave his mommy’s side, basking in the last moments he got to spend with her. Even when his mom was showering, Nolan would lie on the bathroom floor—right outside.
In the picture below, from a Facebook post, we see Nolan lying on a bathmat while his mom’s in the shower. The photo on the left was reportedly taken just before Nolan had to go to the hospital to undergo aggressive chemotherapy. The photo on the right was taken on the two-month anniversary of his death, showing the very same place where Nolan was, but this time…no Nolan.
“Now I’m the one terrified to shower,” Scully wrote in her post. “With nothing but an empty shower rug now where once a beautiful, perfect, little boy laid waiting for his Mommy.”
The photo has gone viral with over 630,000 shares on Facebook and one-million likes!
“Anybody with kids has seen their children laying on the floor before. I think that’s why the picture grabbed so many people, it’s real,” Scully said in an interview.
Nolan’s death was incredibly sad but far from in vain. Nolan’s story is now helping other parents stay strong amid adversity.
“Maybe this was Nolan’s purpose; maybe he’s still helping people even in death,” Scully said.
Nolan didn’t just take his death sitting down. He grabbed it by the horn and took control of it, planning out his funeral and writing his “will,” which included stuffed animals and his favorite snacks in the ice box.
“I asked if he wanted people to be happy or sad at his funeral. He looked at me confused and said, ‘Happy, why would anybody be sad?’” Scully recalled.
Scully wrote that her son’s last, three days were full of fun and laughter: “We played, watched YouTube, shot Nerf Gun after Nerf Gun and smiled as many times as we could.”
But then, as the time of his passing drew near, Nolan fell into a coma and things got a bit quieter. Nolan however, had to say one last thing to his mom and he wasn’t going to let cancer stop him.
With the last breath his collapsed lung could manage, he said, “I love you, Mommy.”
To her son, Scully then sang, “You Are My Sunshine.” With the last, few words of that song, Nolan slipped away.