Nurse's tender moment with distraught toddler before surgery goes viral

A nurse in China has been praised worldwide after pictures circulated of her comforting a distressed toddler before surgery.

Ma Tongyan, a nurse at Dingxi People's Hospital in Gansu Province, was captured on camera hugging and holding the hand of the small boy as he lay on the operating table.

Two-year-old Xuan Xuan was about to undergo surgery to repair an inguinal hernia in his abdomen, according to a statement from the hospital. 

As soon as he was taken into the operating room, he began to cry. 

"He was very nervous when he entered the operating room that day... he repeatedly cried 'I want mother!'" said Ms Ma in the statement.

"To appease him, I first gave him a toy to play with. When he was still unhappy, I took out a mobile phone and watched animations for a while, and let him lie in my arms."

Footage from the room shows the nurse anaesthetist holding the toddler and letting him sleep in her arms. 

The boy's mother shared the footage online and was moved by the kindness of the nurses.

"Thank you to all the medical staff who contributed to my son's surgery! Thank you!" she wrote on social media.

Millions of people have spoken about Ms Ma's kindness.

"Please give this nurse a raise! She went above and beyond for her patients," said one user on China's social media network site Weibo.

"Bless our country's medical professionals," wrote another.

The hospital's statement reports Xuan Xuan's surgery went smoothly, and he is now recovering well.

Newshub.