child with mother
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
May 6, 2024 ·  5 min read

Dying 4-Year-Old Boy Tells His Mom That He’ll Wait For Her In Heaven Before Passing Away

A dying 4-year-old little boy’s final words to his mamma were “I love you,” and he said them with a smile, too. This is the absolute heart-wrenching story of Nolan Scully’s life cut short by cancer.

Dying 4-Year-Old Boy Tells Mom He’ll Wait For Her In Heaven

3-year-old Nolan Scully and his mom Ruth received the news no parent ever wants to hear: Nolan had a rare form of cancer. After a hard-fought battle with rhabdomyosarcoma, Nolan passed away. Two months later, Ruth finally opened up about her dying four-year-old boy’s final days. (1)

“Two months. Two months since I’ve held you in my arms, heard how much you loved me, kissed those sweetie “pie” lips. Two months since we’ve snuggled. Two months of pure absolute Hell.” she wrote in an emotional post on Facebook. “I’ve wanted for a long time to write a little about Nolan’s last days. His last few days shined with how amazing my son is. How beautiful he is. How he was made of nothing but pure love.” (1)

On February 1, 2017, she sat down with her son’s entire team. The oncologist looked at her with pain in her eyes and said that there was nothing more they could do. His cancer was spreading too quickly and was resistant to every treatment they had. The only thing they could do was help him be as comfortable as possible in his final days. (1)

Two months. Two months since I’ve held you in my arms, heard how much you loved me, kissed those sweetie “pie” lips. Two…

Posted by NolanStrong on Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Conversation No Parent Can Imagine Having

Ruth now had to go tell her little boy that he was soon going to die. After doing her best to compose herself, she went to his hospital room. (1)

“I sat down with him and put my head up against his and had the following conversation:
Me: Poot, it hurts to breathe doesn’t it?

Nolan: Weeeelll…. yeah.

Me: You’re in a lot of pain aren’t you baby?

Nolan: (looking down) Yeah.

Me: Poot, this Cancer stuff sucks. You don’t have to fight anymore.

Nolan: (Pure Happiness) I DONT??!! But I will for you Mommy!!

Me: No Poot!! Is that what you have been doing?? Fighting for Mommy??

Nolan: Well DUH!!

Me: Nolan Ray, what is Mommy’s job?

Nolan: To keep me SAFE! (With a big grin)

Me: Honey … I can’t do that anymore here. The only way I can keep you safe is in Heaven. (My heart shattering)

Nolan: Sooooo I’ll just go to Heaven and play until you get there! You’ll come right?

Me: Absolutely!! You can’t get rid of Mommy that easy!!

Nolan: Thank you Mommy!!! I’ll go play with Hunter and Brylee and Henry!!” (1)

The next few days, Nolan spent most of his time sleeping.

A Dying 4-year-old Boy: Preparing For Nolan’s Passing

They were preparing to move him with hospice back home so that he could spend what was likely to be his final evening in his own home.  (1)

“When he woke up, we had the van packed, and I had his shoes in my hand to take him home for the evening. We just wanted ONE more night together. But as he woke, he gently put his hand on mine and said, “Mommy, it’s ok. Let’s just stay here, ok?” My 4-year-old Hero was trying to make sure things were easy for me….” Ruth wrote. (1)

For the next 36 hours, they played games, chatted, and planned out Nolan’s funeral. He picked his pallbearers, what he wanted people to wear, and what items he was leaving to who. Nolan, who was now an honorary member of the local police department, wanted to be remembered as a policeman. (2)

This was my memory of the day today on Facebook. It was taken one year ago. Nolan had just woken up from Anesthesia…

Posted by NolanStrong on Thursday, March 2, 2017

Nolan’s Final Moments

In his final hour, Ruth asked Nolan if she could go take a shower. He agreed, as long as his Uncle Chris sat with him, and she promised she’d be out in two minutes. As soon as the bathroom door clicked, he shut his eyes and went into a deep sleep. (1)

When Ruth came out of the shower, his entire team was surrounding the bed. They told her he was in a deep sleep and that he couldn’t feel anything. He was in the process of passing on.

“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….” Ruth remembered. “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.” (1)

Mommy’s Hero

Ruth always refers to Nolan as a ‘hero’. He fought hard, and despite the fear and the pain, he was brave and brought a smile to people’s faces everywhere he went. (1)

“He woke up out of a coma to say he loved me with a smile on his face! My son died a Hero. He brought Communities together, different occupations, made a difference in people’s lives all around the world. He was a warrior who died with dignity and love to the last second,” she wrote. “I look at everything he accomplished in 4 short years and can only think of what he could’ve accomplished with a longer life. But 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.” (1)

Not The End Of The Fight

While Nolan may have been gone four years now, his legacy lives on through his Facebook page, run by Ruth. She continues to do work to raise money and awareness of childhood cancer with the hopes of one day finding a cure.

“Nolan showed everyone how people should be treated, and how you should take care of one another. He was made of nothing but love and goodness,” she told CNN. “We didn’t fail him, it was medicine that failed him,” (3)

Ruth continues to update Nolan’s Facebook page and encourages others to share Nolan’s story in hopes of a better future for other children with cancer.

Poot, Happy 8th birthday my beautiful perfect baby boy. You were perfect from the moment you were born. I remember the…

Posted by NolanStrong on Monday, September 7, 2020

Keep Reading: A young mom was misdiagnosed for 11-months. Now she’s lost her battle


  1. Mom pens heart-wrenching final days with 4-year-old son battling cancer.” Global News. Arti Patel . April 13, 2017.
  2. Dying 4-Year-Old Boy Tells His Mom That He’ll Wait For Her In Heaven Before Passing Away.” Breast Cancer Site. Goodfullness.
  3. Mom shares her son’s heartbreaking last days.” CNN. Madeline Holcombe, Delaney Strunk. April 14, 2017.