Nurses at a Louisville, Kentucky hospital are being lauded for helping to put a smile back on a young cancer patient’s face.
Jeremy Esposito shared a video of nurses at Norton Children’s Hospital playing a lunch break Nerf war with his 4-year-old son Drew.
Drew is in being treated for medulloblastoma, a brain cancer. He was diagnosed on Christmas Eve and was taken by parents, Jeremy and Sondra, to the doctor thinking he had an ear infection.
But doctors found a tumor and had to undergo a 12-hour surgery to remove the tumor. “So we came in Christmas Day and had an awesome surgery and this crazy kid has been fighting it ever since,” Jeremy said.
Taylor Bergman, a nurse at Norton Children’s, met the family and said everyone immediately loved the boy. “It was his willingness to be a kid from the very beginning,” Bergman said. “Kind of a spark on the unit.”
Drew told Bergman how he and his parents would have a Nerf war in his room, and started shooting her with the Nerf guns got a kick from the fact that nurse rhymed with versus, he then ran out chasing her in the hallway and found Meg there as well.
So Bergman and Meg Garl dressed up with masks as goggles and carried Nerf guns to battle with Drew. “Spur of the moment,” Bergman said. “We opened the door and little did we know Drew was ready, suited up in a superhero costume, too.”
In a 30-minute nerf war that began, Drew defeated the nurses and emerged as champion. “I don’t know that it was a fair fight,” Bergman laughed. “We didn’t get as many Nerf machines as we needed.”
After that first nerf war, other kids are asking for them as well. “When it comes to our kids, they’re going through so much,” Garl said. “I think a really great part of what we do as nurses is we try every day to at least get them to smile or laugh or have fun.”
The Epositos bring other things from home to make Drew feel like he is at home and not in the hospital, and the nurses really make them feel comfortable there. “They come in and act like they haven’t been working for 10 hours and play games and do the Nerf gun wars like the battle that you saw,” Sondra said.
“It’s a testament to what these nurses are doing every day,” Jeremy said. “Just one little snapshot.” Drew has had five rounds of chemotherapy so far with the first three being high doses, and the last two being high doses of chemo with a stem cell rescue, Sondra said.
Being trapped in a bed with harsh treatments can take a toll on a young child in hospital, but thanks to cheerful nurses like Bergman and Garl, the children are able to smile and laugh through the pain.