Off The Record
The Story Behind A Heart-Wrenching Image Of A 6-year-old Boy Saying Goodbye To His Dying Sister
A 6-year-old boy’s final goodnight to his younger sister was captured on camera and is tearing people’s hearts all over the world.
The photo was taken by Matt Sooter of Arkansas, whose 4-year-old daughter Adalynn “Addy” was identified as having a rare type of cancer.
“A little boy should not have to say goodbye to his partner in crime, his play mate, his best friend, his little sister,” Matt wrote.
The heartbreaking image elicited reactions from over 8,000 people. The parents are currently trying to spread awareness about this rare condition.
When the Sooter family learned that their daughter had diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a rare tumor with a brainstem origin, in November 2016, their world was flipped upside down.
For the next 18 months, Addy would have to put up with the tumor’s growth before her symptoms got worse.
In a Facebook post, Matt described how his four-year-old daughter had rapidly deteriorated.
“Addy’s symptoms have progressed rapidly over the past day and a half. Yesterday she woke up as her spunky playful self. While we still see short instances of our girl she can no longer eat or swallow without difficulty and she’s sleeping most of the time now and we’ve admitted her into inpatient care. Most likely she doesn’t have much time left,” he wrote on Facebook.
The older sibling resisted leaving his sister.
He encouraged any friends and family who wanted to bid their darling daughter a final farewell to get in touch with them in a very moving and tragic post.
Jackson, the older brother, was reluctant to leave his sister’s side, so Matt also pleaded with followers to pray for him.
She passed away not long after Jackson kissed his little sister goodnight and told her he loved her.
‘Sweet girl loved helping people’
Only a few hours later, the family posted on the Facebook page Hope for Addy Joy – Fighting DIPG that their daughter had passed away.
“She passed from this life to the next just as she had lived: stubbornly but also peacefully, and surrounded by family. She wasn’t in any pain at the end,” it read.
“While this is only goodbye for now we miss our baby girl terribly.”
The tumors from Addy’s brain and spine were donated to science in the “hopes of preventing 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,” they wrote in a Facebook post.
We all know someone who has been impacted by this terrible illness, but it’s especially distressing when children are involved.
Rest in peace little angel Addy.
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