Nurse who ‘married’ 4-year-old cancer patient speaks at Crouse nursing graduation

Local News

Thursday, nearly 60 nursing students graduated from the Pomeroy College of Nursing at Crouse Hospital.

At the ceremony, the keynote speaker was a pediatric nurse from Albany who showed the next generation of nurses how an extra dose of kindness really can make a difference.

His name is Matt Hickling. You probably first saw him in a Facebook video that went viral in 2015. That’s when ‘Amazing Abby’, a 4 year old cancer patient, asked to marry her favorite nurse Matt.

“This was something that was captured on video, exposed to the world, and really helped expose this family on what they go through, what we go through – as a staff, team, nurse, doctors, social workers, child life specialist- together for the care of patients,” says Matt.

It’s been two years since Matt made Abby’s wish come true. Since then, she’s stopped Chemotherapy treatments and is as active as any kindergartner should be.

Matt, a Registered Nurse, gave a speech to the graduates of Crouse Hospital’s nursing program.

Beginning his career in Sports Management, he never pictured himself a nurse, but once he made the jump- he never looked back.

For those stepping in to the nursing field, he had a message: “Nursing is something that is not expected. You’re going to come in every day to a new patient, a new workload, new members of your team. You’re not going to be perfect no matter how long you’ve done this job. Certain things can change in the blink of an eye.”

As for his “marriage” to Amazing Abby, “I think she’s got three boyfriends right now in school so it’s really getting complicated with my real wife, this wife, and her three boyfriends.”

No matter how complicated, the two have decided they can stay friends and their story is further proof that love and laughter really are the best medicine.

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