No father should ever have to see his son saying goodbye to his dying daughter, but he wanted to preserve the touching moment forever.
A heartbreaking moment was captured by a grieving father on camera, when he watched his 6-year-old son comfort his 4-year-old daughter in her final moments, as she slowly lost her battle to cancer. In the touching picture taken by Matt Sooter, Jackson, his oldest son, can be seen stroking his sister Adalynn's hair as she holds on to her final moments of life, hours before she finally succumbed to her brain tumor.
As an emotional tribute to his youngest, Matt wrote a Facebook post detailing the harrowing experience of having to watch his children say goodbye to each other. He wrote, "A little boy should not have to say goodbye to his partner in crime, his play mate, his best friend, his little sister. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. But this is the broken world we live in."
Matt revealed that Addy, which was their nickname for her, had deteriorated in the days before the picture was taken. "Addy’s symptoms have progressed rapidly over the past day and a half," he wrote. "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 urged their loved ones to say their final farewells as she didn't have much time left. "For our family and close friends if you feel you need to tell her goodbye we recommend you contact us and do so soon. Pray for Jackson. He doesn’t want to leave her side and we won’t make him. Pray for us. That we have the right words and can make the necessary arrangements in time." Hours after her father shared the picture, Addy breathed her last at 1:04 AM on June 3, 2018.
Addy had been battling her disease for 18 months, ever since doctors discovered that she had a tumor growing on her brain stem. She was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DPIG), and Jackson had been through her side through it all. Matt told People about their touching farewell, "It was a sweet moment, but not unexpected. Jackson has always been great with her and took very good care of her. He's still a happy little boy, but he misses her."
The heartbroken father said, "We miss her terribly, but we're also at peace knowing we did everything we could to try to help her and that she isn't in pain anymore. It was only, 'See you later.' We'll see her again some day.” Addy had been given mere months to live after her grim diagnosis on November 12, 2016, but she exceeded doctors' expectations by holding on for nearly a year and a half longer.
In fact, her parents, Matt and Chandra, were ecstatic when they found out that her tumor had started to shrink. Despite her beating incredible odds, Matt was aware of the fact that Addy's was a losing battle. He told People then, "While we're doing everything we can to change the outcome we don't expect to win this fight. We haven't given up, but it seems we are losing the war." He revealed that the family had come to terms with the fact that they might lose their daughter: "While we don’t look forward to a future without our little girl, we don’t fear it."