Five-year-old Slade Thompson from Clinton County, Michigan, woke up from his tonsil surgery in April 2019, not finding his mother near, he was understandably worried and upset. All Slade wanted was to be snuggled and cared for.
His mom, Layla Thompson, had to be in the waiting room while the nurses checked Slade’s vitals. She wasn’t able to comfort her son.
“When I told him Mom couldn’t be there, he asked if I would snuggle him and I said, ‘Sure will,'” said Annie Hager, R.N. at UPMC Susquehanna Health in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
When Thompson and her fiancé arrived and saw Slade being so well-loved and cared for, they were both overcome with emotion.
“He’s been through a lot this last year,” said Layla Thompson. “We had been in the children’s hospital, so we were kind of nervous just going to a hospital to have it done.”
“You want someone to treat your child the way you would treat them, you know, so whenever I turned the corner and saw them, I looked at my fiancé and we both went, ‘Aww!’ We both started getting a little teary-eyed,” Thompson told WNEP-TV.
Thompson took a photo of the heartwarming moment originally just intending it for Slade’s scrapbook, but then she shared it online and didn’t expect that the photo would since go viral.
“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,” UPMC wrote on Facebook.
Layla Thompson was so touched by the compassion that Annie showed her son, she and her son decided to return to the hospital later. Slade, waited patiently for his new friend nurse, Annie Hager, with a bouquet of flowers.
“This little guy touched my heart, and his mama’s beautiful kind words and actions have brought tears to my eyes twice now!” Hager shared on Instagram. “This right here is why I LOVE my job.”
What makes the story even more touching is that Annie was supposed to be off on the day of Slade’s surgery. She had been called into work because they were short staffed. It looks like she was just where she needed to be.