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annie and slade

Scared 5-Yr-Old Crying After Surgery Gets Sweetest Comfort From Caring Nurse.

Anyone who has ever spent time in the hospital knows that nurses provide invaluable services for their patients.

Nurses care for people who are going through tough times, extending their empathy and medical knowledge to patients from all walks of life. Most of the time these everyday heroes do their work without accolades or even acknowledgment, but every so often, we see a nurse get the public praise he or she deserves.


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Annie Hager, R.N. was working one morning at UPMC Susquehanna in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, when she encountered a 5-year-old who’d just gone through tonsil surgery. Slade Thompson of Renovo, Pennsylvania, was having a difficult time waking up from the anesthesia. Many children cry or scream as they come out of the heavy sedation, but Slade was tougher than most.

“A few weeks ago Mr. Slade came out of surgery to the recovery room and was my first patient of the day,” Annie explained. “Let me tell ya, this little man was by far the bravest 5 yr old I have ever met! Most kids scream their way out of anesthesia (to no fault of their own, it’s a pretty normal response to all the stuff we give them) but Slade, although crying at times, was calm and sweet, but obviously scared and in some pain.”

Slade’s mom Layla Thompson was not allowed into the recovery room just yet, and as the little boy got more and more upset it was clear he needed comfort. “All he wanted was his mommy who wasn’t immediately available,” Annie recalled. “He asked me if I would snuggle him and take care of him. I jumped right in that bed and snuggled up [to] that little guy so fast!”


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Annie, a mother herself, wasted no time jumping in the bed next to the sobbing child and wrapped him up in her arms. Even though her job is to administer medical care, she knew in her heart that comfort is a huge part of recovery. Giving this child the physical contact he was craving in that moment was the best medicine he could receive.

When Layla came in and saw Annie snuggling with Slade she was so moved that she took a photo. Later, the hospital shared the photos on Facebook, praising the nurse for going above and beyond to comfort Slade.

“As a nurse, providing care is one thing, but making sure our patients are calm and comfortable matters just as much. It’s nurses like Annie – who show true compassion – that keep our patients happy.”

About a week after his surgery Slade and his mom returned to the hospital for his follow-up appointment with a surprise for Annie: a beautiful bouquet of flowers! Annie was blown away, telling Slade’s mom, “I thank God every day for people like you and your precious little man! I feel so blessed to have met you all that day and truly feel I’ve made some wonderful friends through it. This right here is why I LOVE my job. It is why I go to work every day. It’s moments like this that make it all worth it.”


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It’s wonderful to see Slade back on his feet again with a big smile on his face! It’s thanks to hardworking nurses like Annie, and we can’t thank them enough for being there during our darkest hours.

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