A heartbroken mother has shared an emotional Facebook post addressed to her son Nolan, two months after he died of cancer.
Ruth Scully, from Maryland, revealed the pain of watching her child suffer, and the final miracle before she lost him.
Nolan was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer, in November 2015 and passed away in February this year, aged four. His mum says she had long wanted to write about his last days and "how he was made of nothing but pure love."
On a page she and husband Jonathan created for "Nolan Strong", Ruth describes her feelings as "agony unlike any other", in a beautiful tribute that has left readers in tears.
When she took Nolan to the hospital for the last time, after he had battled cancer for more than a year, he had not eaten or drunk anything in days and was continually vomiting. On February 1, the oncologist sat them down to hear the terrible truth. The four-year-old's cancer had spread and large tumours were compressing his bronchial tubes and heart just four weeks after open chest surgery.
The cancer was no longer treatable.
I'LL GO TO HEAVEN AND PLAY UNTIL YOU GET THERE'
The anguished mother walked into her son's room, where he was watching YouTube.
Me: Poot, it hurts to breathe doesn't it?
Nolan: Weeeelll.... yeah.
Me: You're in a lot of pain aren't you baby?
Nolan: (looking down) Yeah.
Me: Poot, this Cancer stuff sucks. You don't have to fight anymore.
Nolan: (Pure Happiness) I DONT??!! But I will for you Mummy!!
Me: No Poot!! Is that what you have been doing?? Fighting for Mummy??
Nolan: Well DUH!!
Me: Nolan Ray, what is Mummy's job?
Nolan: To keep me SAFE! (With a big grin)
Me: Honey ... I can't do that anymore here. The only way I can keep you safe is in Heaven. (My heart shattering)
Nolan: Sooooo I'll just go to Heaven and play until you get there! You'll come right?
Me: Absolutely!! You can't get rid of Mummy that easy!!
Nolan: Thank you Mummy!!! I'll go play with Hunter and Brylee and Henry!!
THE LAST MIRACLE
Nolan slept for most of the next few days. His mother made sure things were in order. "I cannot explain to you what signing an Emergency Responder 'Do Not Resuscitate' order for your angelic son feels like," she wrote.
When he woke up, Ruth had his things ready to go home for one more night together. But her son was still putting others first. "He gently put his hand on mine and said 'Mummy, it's OK. Let's just stay here OK?' My 4 year old Hero was trying to make sure things were easy for me ...
"So in between sleeping for the next 36 hours, we played, watched YouTube, shot Nerf Gun after Nerf Gun and smiled as many times as we could. An hour or so before he passed he even filled out a 'Will'! We laid in bed together and he sketched out how he wanted his funeral, picked his pall bearers, what he wanted people to wear, wrote down what he was leaving each of us, and even wrote down what he wanted to be remembered as ... which of course was a Policeman."
At 9pm, while watching Peppa Pig in bed, Ruth asked if she could leave Nolan for a shower.
"He said 'Ummmm OK Mummy. Have Uncle Chris come sit with me and I'll turn this way so I can see you'. I stood at the bathroom door, turned to him and said 'Keep looking right here Poot, I'll be out in two seconds'. He smiled at me. I shut the bathroom door. They said the moment the bathroom door clicked he shut his eyes and went into a deep sleep, beginning the end of life passing.
"When I opened the bathroom door, his Team was surrounding his bed and every head turned and looked at me with tears in their eyes. They said 'Ruth, he's in a deep sleep. He can't feel anything'. His respirations were extremely laboured, his right lung had collapsed and his oxygen dropped.
"I ran and jumped into bed with him and put my hand on the right side of his face. Then a miracle that I will never forget happened....
"My angel took a breath, opened his eyes, smiled at me and said 'I Love You Mummy', turned his head towards me and at 11:54pm Sgt. Rollin Nolan Scully passed away as I was singing You are My Sunshine in his ear."
Nolan loved his family and friends with a fierce devotion, and brought people from across the world together, Ruth said. "He was a warrior who died with dignity and love," she added.
Alongside the bereft mother's heartfelt letter to her son, she shared a memorable photo of Nolan lying on the bathroom floor, showing how her son was too terrified to leave her side even when she showered.
"Now I'm the one terrified to shower," she wrote. "With nothing but an empty shower rug now where once a beautiful perfect little boy laid waiting for his Mummy."
To donate to Nolan's memorial fund, visit his GoFundMe page.