Support For Christi Thomas

This blog is to help offer support to the Thomas Family and their daughter, Christi, in her battle against cancer. Please visit Christi's website at to learn more. There, you'll find journals, photos and a lots of other information about this amazing child and her family.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pat: Christi's Nurse Practitioner / Alex's Lemonade Stand (Video Clips)

Another heartbreak caused a lot of tears last week. It was learning that Christi's dear, dear nurse - Pat Brophy (We often referred to her as Dr. Maris's partner and right hand woman.) was diagnosed with cancer. In this video clip, (click on the center for the five minute video to start) Pat is also with the recently deceased Kendall, his twin brother Zachary and sweet mother Aimee. Just seeing and hearing Pat's voice was enough to bring me to tears, but then to have her talk about her own battle with cancer made me weep. Our prayers are with Pat and her family.


The great Pat Brophy will never know how richly she blessed our lives! On Shayne’s very first trip to CHOP with Christi, in 2003, he met Pat for the first time. When he called me later that evening he was raving about this incredible nurse. Soon after, I met her myself and could easily understand why he gave her such a glowing report. I also always found Pat to be bright, professional, efficient, and one of the most compassionate women I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.

I will never forget her kindness, especially when Christi relapsed and was in pain in January of 2006, and also when she arrived with the team about 20 minutes following Christi’s death saying, “No matter how many times I do this, I never know what to say.” Nor will I forget her remarkable ability to keep calm and professional, when I was everything but! One incident stands out in my mind in particular because of how upset I was (although she probably didn’t know it) and how calm Pat remained, despite my distress.

Date: March or April 2006
Location: Day Hospital
Pat: “What are we going to do?” (Regarding the fact that it was Friday and Pat had worked her fingers to the bone getting a one time shot approved and available for Christi, but Christi would have to receive it at the Ronald House on Saturday. Pat did not know Shayne had given Christi every single shot, he was home with Shayla and I was not about to ever give her a shot, period.)
Angela: “I don’t know. Figure it out. I’m going to go get Christi a sandwich. That's something I can do.”

When I cooled off and came back, Pat had once again waved her magic wand and had arranged for a nurse to arrive at the Ronald House for Christi on Saturday. (In reality, Shayne flew in because he missed Christi terribly and knew she wouldn’t want anyone but him giving her any shots.) I will never forget Pat going all out for us like she did that day – and countless other days.

Trying to work full time, go to school part time and also take care of a child with a terminal illness (and be a wife and a mother to a health kid) probably didn’t make me the most pleasant person to be around at times, especially when it came to scheduling Christi’s care. Pat would kindly arrange Christi’s many tests/appointments and I’d sometimes respond, “That doesn’t work for me. How about ……..” That angel on earth would work her hardest to try to ensure Christi’s care while allowing me to try to live a life that I knew had to go on, with or without my daughter. My most treasured times with Pat were not of talking about Christi’s care, but of talking to another working woman about my career and my students. I’ll forever be grateful of her kindness, professionalism and friendship. What a blessing she is to all who know and love her! Gooooooooooo, Pat - truly a hero!!!


At 14/6/07 8:37 AM, Blogger Olivia said...

I saw the clip of Pat on Kendall's website and was simply in awe of this amazing woman. I remember the countless times you have mentioned her in your journals throughout the years. She is a true inspiration to so many. And a true hero.

Goooo, Pat. We're pulling for you.

Thanks for sharing this remarkable story.


At 14/6/07 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How amazing to see this wonderful nurse. Most of us can barely manage a private life and work when we are healthy, let alone what Pat is doing. She truly is a hero. I will be praying for her!

It was also great to see the incredible Dr. Maris. I am always thankful for such compassionate people, it takes a special soul to be able to work in this speciality and they're absolutely in that category!

At 14/6/07 10:00 AM, Anonymous Brooke said...

That was a great video good job guys. I truly miss CT and hope you guys are doing much better. My computer teacher she was like a best friend to me has died of cancer also. A cure needs to be found.

At 14/6/07 10:28 AM, Anonymous danny stephens said...

Christi was a girl whom i never knew,although i did know her parents from back in school.They were so bright and shining with love back then that along came Christi, everyone`s friend. Such a bright, beautiful, courageous child i hardly see pictures without her smile.Even though the monster lived within, Christi was so happy and all our friends.She never allowed the beast to keep her down, always finding a way to show that smile.She will be my hero until the end, what an amazing child;all our friends.As i look at three children of my own, i feel so blessed they are healthy and home.Ithink of Christi almost everyday, her mother, father, and lil sister Shay. The pain will subside as days pass by, but our dear lil Christi paid an ultimate price.She`s an angel in heaven without a doubt, smiling and dancing as the Saints march out.She will never be forgotten, she touched so many live`s with a warm soft smile and overflowing heart.A courageous little trooper for whom time ran out.God is richly blessing her now, day by day. Such a special child, He just couldn`t let her stay.He took her home to be with Him,she sits now on His lap with that special little grin.

At 14/6/07 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, how this video made me cry ;((( I don't get it and life is so unfair... :( why do all those beautiful, kind, caring people have to suffer?? Pat is an angel, no doubt about it!! She has helped and supported so many, what an amazing woman she is! Christi's story of hope, faith, love and unending "Stay Strong" battle has touched milions of lives all over the world, now Pat is writing her own book, and by the fact that she is still helping and caring for others she is turning a very negative scenario into something very good. I'm honored and grateful to know her story, I'm crossing my fingers for that wonderful woman, we need this special Angel, silent Hero here!!!

Love, Oliwia

At 14/6/07 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prayers for Pat Brophy as she is on her own cancer battle/journey. No doubt she has found inspiration from all the children who have made their way through the doors of CHOP.

It is pretty great that you had such a good relationship with Pat that you could just be yourself with her and she just understood. She is the perfect person for this job!


At 14/6/07 6:12 PM, Blogger Denise Ward said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your special nurse having cancer. I will remember her in my prayers. It surely sounds as though she embodied all the qualities one thinks of when one thinks of a nurse, someone who truly tries to relieve pain and suffering whenever she can, and cares for not only her patient but their family.

At 14/6/07 9:34 PM, Blogger HeatherB said...

Wow- what an incredibly moving video clip that was. Pat is amazing! I can sure see why you admire and respect her so much.

My prayers are with her and her family, and with Dr.Maris as well.

With love and prayers for always,

At 14/6/07 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what an amazing video! Actually, all of those vidoes on that page are. It definitely brought tears to my eyes as well. Maris said it about as best as could be said "If that's not inspiration, I don't know what is." I can see why families adore her the way they do. The fact that she is able to show up to work each day for these children while she's in the battle for her own life is simply amazing. Keep marching on Pat! *Stay Strong*

At 15/6/07 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an absolutely amazing woman!

Michelle Stokes


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