“Before this baby died, he whispered three shocking words. For any mother or father, losing a child is probably the most devastating and horrible thing someone can experience. The loss, pain, and sadness are more than most can handle. It’s truly something that no amount of time could ever heal.
Some stories are simply too sad for words. We want to show you the story of Nolan Scully. This little boy experienced what no one should have to endure and inspired many with his courage and positive attitude towards life.
Every second of this story is powerful, but especially the last conversation Nolan had with his mother will break your heart.
Nolan Scully was a boy who passed away from cancer far too young. His story is a beautiful one in which you can find not only sadness but also hope and faith in the power of people. Sometimes we’re much stronger than we think.
Nolan’s story begins similar to that of many normal little boys. His loving parents, Ruth and Jonathan Scully, adored him from the day he was born. From the moment he was able to walk, policemen and firefighters fascinated Nolan. Nolan loved to laugh and was a wonderfully sweet little boy. Everyone who knew him liked him, and of course, the one who loved him the most was his mother. She even had a nickname for him and always called her little Nolan lovingly ‘Poot.’
Unfortunately, when Nolan turned three, disaster struck. In October of 2015, Nolan fell ill. At first, his parents thought he only had a mild cold; his nose was running, and he had a cough. However, he also began to snore strangely, and it became more and more difficult for him to breathe.
Well, that’s when his mother, Ruth, became increasingly worried. She immediately took Nolan to the doctor. At first, they thought the little boy only had a severe sinus infection. They gave him antibiotics and a nasal spray, and he got to go home again.
However, the prescribed treatment did not help, and now Ruth took Nolan to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. He discovered that Nolan’s nose and tonsils were swollen badly and that they had to perform surgery to remove them.
A few days after the operation, however, the doctors came with terrible news. They had discovered that Nolan had Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare but aggressive form of cancer that affects the soft tissues of the body. It was, in fact, a death sentence because there is almost nothing the doctors can do to treat this form of cancer.
Of course, Nolan’s parents were deeply upset. No parent wants to hear that their beloved child will not have long to live. Can you imagine how they must have felt and how Nolan must have felt when they told him the news? In one blow, this turned the life of Nolan and his family upside down completely and would never be the same again.
Especially for Nolan’s mother, it was the worst news she had ever heard. She was pregnant at the time. But how could she enjoy this pregnancy when her other child was fading away slowly?
The doctors immediately ran a lot of tests on Nolan, from CT scans to blood tests, and found out that the tumor was still isolated. Although they could not operate on him, there was the possibility of reducing the tumor with chemotherapy. And this is how the sweet little boy began the battle of his life.
In addition to all the scans, tests, injections, and blood transfusions, he would also have to undergo chemotherapy for 43 weeks—something very intense, especially for such a small body.
He was admitted to Georgetown Hospital at the special Children’s Cancer Ward. This would be his new home for the next few months. A whole team of nurses would do everything they could to make Nolan feel as comfortable as possible.
Although there was only a small chance, the doctors did their best to try and cure his cancer. During the treatments and in an attempt to do a little more with the terrible fact that her son was so ill, Nolan’s mother started a Facebook page for him. The page is called Nolan Strong and still exists.
In the meantime, chemotherapy and radiotherapy started having a terrible effect on Nolan. He lost his hair, something he didn’t like, and he was often extremely tired and also nauseous. Nevertheless, he kept his courage and became a true inspiration for all the people around him.
His will to fight the cancer was strong and exceptional. Not only for his loved ones and the nurses but also for the thousands of followers on his Facebook page who were very sympathetic to the family. The page also raised a lot of money for his treatments, which they desperately needed because they simply couldn’t pay for all of this.
People also sent lots of teddy bears and gifts for the little boy, and thanks to fundraising events, they raised even more money. The whole community supported Nolan.
Nolan was a little fighter and always kept on dreaming. His biggest dream was to one day become a policeman. And he remained hopeful and enjoyed the fun things he could still do, like visiting a Jurassic Park event and visiting the local harbor or driving around with his parents and seeing all the Christmas lights.
And on a truly special day, his favorite dream came true. While he was in the hospital, the police chief of the local police station came to him and swore him in as a special agent. Nolan, the local fire brigade also declared him a special member of the fire brigade with an honorable mention. Nolan was very proud and happy with all the attention and grateful for the special walkie-talkie he received from the police chief so that he could report to his new boss every once in a while.
Unfortunately, all the medical treatments failed, and Nolan had to continue with more rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. His doctors also decided to attempt surgery. However, as the cancer had already spread to Nolan’s lungs by then, this was also unsuccessful.
On the 7th of September 2016, Nolan celebrated his fourth birthday together with his loving family, and it was going to be his last birthday. Nolan was losing the battle against cancer, and the doctor said he probably hadn’t gotten much more time on this Earth.
No method of treatment had helped, and the cancer continued to spread in Nolan’s little body. The only thing the doctors could do for him now was to make him as comfortable as possible and ensure that he suffered very little pain.
His mother was feeling devastated completely and continued to share her experiences and feelings on the Nolan Strong Facebook page. There she also shared the events of the last few days of Nolan’s life. Get some handkerchiefs because now you’ll witness something truly amazing. We still can’t believe it. Nolan kept surprising everyone right up to the end.
On one day in the hospital, Nolan’s mother climbed into bed with him as she used to. She said, ‘Poot, it hurts to breathe, doesn’t it?’ Nolan replied, ‘Well, yes.’ She said, ‘You’re in a lot of pain, aren’t you, sweetie?’ Her little son confirmed this as well. His mother continued, ‘Poot, this cancer is worthless. You don’t have to fight it any longer.’
Nolan asked, ‘But
I would do it for you.’ He said, ‘Oh, Pooh,’ his mother said, ‘Is that what you’re doing? You’re fighting for Mommy?’ ‘Of course,’ Nolan said.
Nolan’s mother then said, ‘What’s Mommy’s job?’ ‘Keep me safe,’ Nolan grinned. Then his mother spoke the words she never wanted to say, ‘Sweetie, I can’t do that anymore here. The only way I can protect you is in heaven.’
Her heart broke, but Nolan stayed strong. ‘So I’ll just go to heaven and play there until you come too. You’ll come, won’t you?’ ‘I will, for sure. You won’t get rid of Mommy that easily.’
The next day, the whole family came together in the hospital, and his mother did not leave Nolan’s side for a moment. They watched YouTube videos together, played games, and discussed how Nolan wanted to be buried. He said that he wanted them to remember him as a policeman.
The next evening, his mother wanted to take a quick shower and asked Nolan if that was okay. He agreed with it, but it felt as if he had been waiting for this moment. Because when she closed the bathroom door behind her, Nolan closed his eyes as well and fell into a deep sleep.
When his mother returned, the whole medical team looked at her. ‘Ruth, he’s in a deep sleep. He can’t feel anything,’ they told her. Nolan struggled to breathe, and his right lung had just collapsed, causing his oxygen level to drop rapidly.
Ruth jumped quickly into bed next to her dear little son and held him tight. And then a miracle happened. Nolan woke up for a moment, looked at his mother with a smile, and said, ‘I love you, Mommy.’ His mother started to sing gently in his ear, and when Nolan closed his eyes again, he slipped away slowly.
What a hero this little boy! With his final breath, he found the strength to tell his mother that he loved her. We’re all incredibly impressed by little Nolan and think it’s very unfair that he only got so little time to live. But do you think that this is unfair too? Let us know what you think in the comments and like this video if you also agree that Nolan is a hero.
You can imagine that his family missed Nolan very much. They spent the following days organizing Nolan’s funeral. The whole community participated. People lined up for 2 hours to express their condolences to the family.
And in the room where he was lying down, you could see photos and videos of the little boy. On each picture, he had a big smile on his face because he never gave up in his battle against cancer.
Then they carried his coffin on top of a large fire truck with an enormous parade through the city. Seven other fire services and the whole police team showed up. Nolan received the traditional fire brigade farewell salute, dismissing a fallen officer with honor from his service, exactly how Nolan would have wanted it.
His other wishes were for everyone to wear as much red as possible that day and to play cheerful music. This is how the little brave Nolan left this Earth. His story has touched many deeply, and we hope that this sweet soul and strong spirit of this little boy have also inspired you.
He wanted to protect and serve his community and become a police officer. As he laid in the hospital, the chief of police came to visit him and swore the young lad in as he became Sergeant Roland Nolan. The fire departments also made him an honorary fireman.
As he laid on his deathbed, Nolan’s fighting spirit and attitude in the face of the worst possible adversity struck a nerve with so many people. As his story went viral on his Facebook page, it gained over 300,000 followers.
Another family challenge: Laura Maxwell said she has waited more than a decade to see more regulations on crib bumpers after her seven-week-old son Preston suffocated in his sleep after rolling into a padded crib bumper.
Maxwell said her husband Kyle ran into Preston’s room one morning in 2010 after not hearing him making any noise. He found his son lying motionless in the crib. ‘I can’t even adequately describe the scream that came from my husband’s body,’ Maxwell told Good Morning America. Just thinking about it sends chills down my spine.
‘My husband was just standing there holding Preston in his arms, and he’s like pale and kind of blue. He rolled out of his sleep positioner and had suffocated completely on his bumper pad. It was very evident,’ she said, ‘from the way that he was found, exactly what caused his death.’
According to the autopsy report, the Alaska medical examiner found Preston’s death to be from asphyxia from the face being wedged between a crib bumper and mattress. The medical examiner found that Preston reportedly rolled over a positioner and was found in that position.
Maxwell sued and later settled with the manufacturer of the crib bumper. Prior to her son’s death, Maxwell said there wasn’t anything about bumper pads that she found to be dangerous. She even used them with her daughter Emma, who is 2 years older than Preston.
‘I just didn’t think anything bad,’ Maxwell said. ‘I mean, you go into a store and they have this bed in a bag, and you just think, “Oh, that’s a cute design and everything that’s being sold on a shelf has to meet safety protocols.” Moms don’t know this information,’ she said, ‘of the potential dangers of padded crib bumpers. This information’s not out there, and I’m going to do whatever it takes so that not only are these companies held responsible, but people hear the stories.’
Maxwell, for one, wants to see padded crib bumpers taken off the market completely. ‘You don’t think something like that that is going to be sold could possibly be a suffocation hazard. At least not in my mind,’ she said. ‘Through experience, you gain understanding, and you realize, okay, I need to be a little bit more cautious about everything.’
Maxwell has thrown her support behind the Safe Cribs Act 1259 legislation introduced this year by Senators Tammy Duckworth, Illinois; Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut; and Rob Portman, Ohio, that would ban the sale of padded crib bumpers in the US.
The bill, which is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Consumer Reports, and the Consumer Federation of America, would also make it illegal in the US to manufacture, distribute, or import crib bumpers.
Additional legislation, the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021 (HR 3182), that would also ban the sale of padded crib bumpers in the US, passed the House of Representatives in June.
Every product that you bring in as a new parent, if it’s on a store shelf, you assume that it’s safe,’ said Maxwell. ‘It’s their job as lawmakers to ensure that parents are fully aware of the dangers of products. Around 3,400 babies in the US die each year while sleeping in sudden and unexpected deaths, according to the AAP.