Nurse Helps Terminally Ill Father with Cancer Fly to See His Son Play Football for a Final Time
A Kentucky father who is terminally ill with cancer shared an emotional moment with his son after watching him play high school football for the final time — and it was all thanks to a determined hospice nurse.
Jerree Humphrey, who works at Hospice of Lake Cumberland, said it was impossible to keep her tears back as she watched Scott Sullivan and his son Cade Sullivan share a long hug after the teen's Sept. 11 football game, CNN reported.
"You could just not help but cry," the hospice nurse told the outlet. "He just embraced him so hard and was just so thankful for him to be there."
While the moment was certainly emotional for the father-son duo, it wasn't always guaranteed, according to CNN.
Just one month earlier, Scott, 50, was diagnosed with a rare and terminal type of cancer called leptomeningeal carcinomatosis.
The cancer, which affects the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, according to the National Institutes of Health, was so severe that doctors gave Scott weeks to live — a common and tragic prognosis for those battling the illness.
After returning to his Somerset home on hospice care in early August, Scott knew there was one thing he wanted to do in the final weeks of his life: attend Cade's first football game of his sophomore year at Pulaski County High School, CNN reported.
Unfortunately, Humphrey advised him that taking a three-and-a-half-hour drive to Belfry, where the game was being played, would not be in Scott's best interest, given his current condition.
"I thought you know you're talking seven or eight hours in the car and I said I don't know how safe that would be or how realistic," Humphrey, whose children are about the same age as Cade and play sports at a rival school, recalled to CNN.
Despite that, Humphrey insisted on finding a way to get Scott to the game and decided to reach out to a nearby airport.
Days later, she got the news she wanted: a local dentist, Dr. Denny Brummett, said he would fly Scott to the game on his personal plane.
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When Sept. 11 finally rolled around, Brummett, Humphrey, Scott and his girlfriend all boarded the plane and headed to Belfry.
Once there, Scott made sure to prioritize his health and safety by sitting on a hill away from the fans as he watched his son play, CNN reported.
After the game, Cade reunited with his father and the duo shared their emotional embrace — a moment that was captured in a photo by Humphrey.
Reflecting on the moment nearly a week afterward, Scott told CNN it was hard to accurately describe his emotions, but noted that he was hopeful to attend Cade's next football game this Saturday.
"Words could not be put into sentences or phrases to describe how I felt at that time," he recalled to the outlet. "I was just so happy to see my son."