Heartbreaking photo of boy comforting his dying four-year-old sister

2018-06-12 18:05
PHOTO: Facebook/Hope for Addy Joy - Fighting DIPG

PHOTO: Facebook/Hope for Addy Joy - Fighting DIPG

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A picture of a six-year-old boy comforting his terminally ill younger sister has gone viral after it was shared on Facebook.

Matt Sooter, from Arkansas in the US, posted the photo earlier this months, explaining that little Jackson was doing something “a little boy should not have to”.

Four-year-old Adalynn “Addy” Sooter had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and was in her final moments when their father captured the precious moment between the siblings.

In a heartbreaking post he wrote that life for the two should’ve been so much different. “A little boy shouldn’t have to say goodbye to his partner in crime, his playmate, his best friend, his little sister,” he wrote.

“This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. But this is the broken world we live in.”

Addy’s battle with cancer started in October 2016 after he’d noticed her having difficulty walking while the family were enjoying a day out at the Silver Dollar City theme park in Missouri, Matt told People magazine.

“At first one of her legs was kind of strangely swinging, so they thought it might be an orthopaedic issue,” Ann Sooter, Addy’s grandmother, told Daily Mail Online.

But the problem “got worse” over the next few weeks and the little girl was taken to a doctor.

Then only two years old, Addy was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), an inoperable brain tumour. She was given just months to live, People reported.

The tumour is a rare and aggressive form of cancer typically found in children aged 5-9 and Addy, who was diagnosed at just two years old, was one of the youngest cases doctors had seen.

The cancer starts in the brain stem, which controls our muscles, nerves, heart rate and breathing.

After the diagnosis Addy underwent 33 chemotherapy treatments which helped keep the tumour from growing for about six months, Yahoo reported. But by July last year hope faded when her tumour began to grow again.

Desperate to find a cure the family then tried their luck with an experimental chemotherapy treatment in Mexico, spending more than $200 000 (R2,6 million) on transport and medical expenses. But the tumour continued to spread.

A social media post shared by the family on 2 June explained that although Addy had woken up “as her spunky playful self” the day before, her symptoms had progressed rapidly and she could no longer eat or swallow without difficulty.

Matt wrote that “most likely she doesn’t have much time left”.

A day later, on 3 June, an update shared the news of Addy’s passing. “At 1.04am our sweet little girl received the miraculous healing that we’ve all been praying for for so long and ran into the arms of Jesus,” the Facebook post reads.

“She passed from this life to the next just as she’d lived: stubbornly but also peacefully and surrounded by family.”

Although tragic his daughter’s story would continue to inspire and she’d continue to help others even after her passing, Matt added.

“This morning she donated her tumours, both brain and spine, to scientific research in hopes of saving future children from a similar fate.

“Our sweet girl loved helping people and giving gifts, so we thought this would be an excellent way of showing her giving heart.”

Sources: People magazine, Daily Mail Online, Yahoo

Read more on:    us  |  cancer

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