If you are looking for a feel-good story, you should probably move on to the next option. Then again, it really depends on your definition of a happy ending. This story involves the death of a 4-year-old child but it will make you believe that there are exceptional individuals, even at a young age.
The last words that young Nolan Scully said before he passed away was to his mother. He said ‘I love you’. He also talked a lot about his impending death as his health continued to go downhill. He even told her that he would wait in heaven for her.
Nolan may have had a short life but he touched many people. Over 335,000 people followed his story on Facebook and loved to see his smile.
The disease that Nolan had was rhabdomyosarcoma. It is a type of soft tissue cancer that is very rare. The diagnosis came when he was only 3-years-old and it took a lot out of him. There was one thing that it couldn’t take, however, and that was his spark for life.
“Every battle he’s had, he just bounced back, unbelievably,” said Mark Bell, a family friend and Chief of the Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department. “You knocked him down, he just came back and ran.”
A dream that this young lad had was to be a policeman. While he was in the hospital, he was able to see his dream come true. The city’s police commissioner swore in ‘Sgt. Rollin’ Nolan’. There were also a number of fire departments that did similar.
Ruth, Nolan’s mom talked about the moment she realized that he was not going to make it through.
“We were sat down with his ENTIRE team. When his Oncologist spoke, I saw the pure pain in her eyes. She had always been honest with us and fought alongside of us the whole time. But his updated CT scan showed large tumors that grew compressing his bronchial tubes and heart within four weeks of his open chest surgery. The Mestatic Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma was spreading like wild fire. She explained at this time she didn’t feel his Cancer was treatable as it had become resistant to all treatment options we had tried and the plan would be to keep him comfortable as he was deteriorating rapidly.”
Ruth knew the time to be honest with her son had come. This is the conversation she had with him:
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 Mommy!!
Me: No Poot!! Is that what you have been doing?? Fighting for Mommy??
Nolan: Well DUH!!
Me: Nolan Ray, what is Mommy’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 Mommy that easy!!
Nolan: Thank you Mommy!!! I’ll go play with Hunter and Brylee and Henry!!”
A few days later, Nolan’s final moments came.
“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.”
Ruth has slipped off to go to the bathroom at one point and Nolan seemed to sense that this would be the best time to let go. The entire medical staff was there when she came out but Nolan decided he had one more gift to give to his mother. She said:
“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 Mommy’, turned his head towards me and at 11:54 pm Sgt. Rollin Nolan Scully passed away as I was singing ‘You are My Sunshine’ in his ear.”
The policemen and firemen honored Nolan with a hero’s sendoff. They escorted him to the cemetery where he would be laid to rest.
Although this story didn’t have a happy ending, we all can cry tears while smiling. This little child touched many people with his courage and smiles and shows us that we can endure whatever comes our way.