A heartbroken mother in the US has opened up about her young son's battle with cancer, and the miraculous moment he said goodbye as he died beside her.
Ruth Scully wrote on Facebook about the agony and the beauty of her son Nolan's last two months. The post has been shared more than half a million times since she shared it on April 5.
In the tragic story she recalls the exact words she shared with Nolan, who said he'd been fighting to live for his mum.
Nolan was three years old when he was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer, in November 2015. He died February 4, 2017.
"His last few days shined with how amazing my son is. How beautiful he is. How he was made of nothing but pure love," her tribute begins.
When she took him to the hospital for the last time, she says she knew something else was wrong other than the usual symptoms of the illness. "I just knew, and strange enough, I think he did too."
They sat down with his entire team of doctors. "When his oncologist spoke, I saw the pure pain in her eyes. …his updated CT scan showed large tumors that grew compressing his bronchial tubes and heart within four weeks of his open chest surgery."
The cancer had spread like wildfire. The doctor explained it had become resistant to all treatment options, so their plans changed to simply keeping Nolan comfortable as he deteriorated.
"After a while, I composed myself and went into Nolan's room. I sat down with him and put my head up against his and had the following conversation…"
Ms Scully says she asked her son if it hurt to breathe and if he was in a lot of pain, and he said yes. She then told him: "Poot, this cancer stuff sucks. You don't have to fight anymore."
Her young boy replied in pure happiness, she says. Nolan said: "But I will fight for you Mommy!"
She told him it was her job to keep him safe, but she couldn't do it anymore.
"The only way I can keep you safe is in Heaven," she says she told Nolan.
"Sooooo I'll just go to Heaven and play until you get there! You'll come right?" he said.
"Absolutely!!" his mum assured him. "You can't get rid of Mommy that easy!!"
They spent Nolan's final couple of days together at the hospital, playing and watching YouTube, "and smiled as many times as we could." The young boy even made a will and planned his funeral.
On his last night, Ms Scully went for a shower while her son lay on the bathroom floor to be as close as he could to her.
"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 she got out, Nolan's medical team were around his bed, and told her he was in a deep sleep and his right lung had collapsed.
"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."
He was a warrior who died with dignity and love to the last second, she says.
"Sadly because of Childhood Cancer (Rhabdomyosarcoma to be specific), the world and our family will miss out on someone so full of love, who just wanted to protect and serve.
"We HAVE to do better with funding, research, treatment options. Below is a picture that seemed to grab everyone's attention because my son was terrified to leave my side, even as I showered.
"Now I'm the one terrified to shower. With nothing but an empty shower rug now where once a beautiful perfect little boy laid waiting for his Mommy."