Arkansas Dad Shares Heartbreaking Photo Of Son Saying Goodbye To His Sister Dying Of Cancer
A father should never have to see his daughter die nor a brother say goodbye to his little sister, but this is sadly what happened to a family from Springdale, Arkansas.
Matt Sooter documented the moment his son, Jackson, said goodbye to his little sister, Addalyn, hours before she passed away from a brain cancer. In a touching post, the father shared a photo that shows the boy stroking his sister's hair to comfort her. Sooter said that Jackson stayed by the little girl's bedside until she took her final breath.
"A little boy should not have to say goodbye to his partner in crime, his playmate, his best friend, his little sister," the father lamented in a Facebook post.
The 4-year old Addalyn, or Addy as she was fondly called by family, battled a rare form of brain tumor called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma or DIPG. The cancer cell attacks the brain stem and the spinal cord, which controls the nerves and muscles that help with seeing, talking, hearing, and eating.
Sooter revealed that the girl's condition worsened 20 minutes after her brother said goodnight. The grieving dad said her breathing became more labored, slower, and more erratic. Addy was not coherent although she opened her eyes twice.
The father shared the photo to let family members and friends know that her precious daughter may not have long to live. He also asked for prayers for the family and for his son who did not want to leave his sister's side.
"Pray for us. That we have the right words and can make the necessary arrangements in time," Sooter wrote.
No More Pain
Sadly, the little girl died five hours after Sooter shared the emotional photo. Despite the grief, Sooter is glad and relieved that Addy is no longer in pain and that she is already with Jesus in Heaven. She passed away surrounded by family.
"She passed from this life to the next just as she had lived: stubbornly but also peacefully," Sooter said.
The family asked that instead of giving flowers, people can donate to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, the Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation, or to the Arkansas Children's Hospital.
According to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the survival rate for those affected by diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma is extremely low. It accounts for 10 to 20 percent of all childhood brain cancers.