COLLINGSWOOD, N.J. (CNN) Nicole Defeo Campbell’s son is alive because of his school nurse.
Last September, Nathan Campbell started kindergarten at Zane North Elementary school.
But Kathy Keller, Campbell’s teacher, immediately noticed something was off.
“He stood alongside of me and he said that his leg hurt and he didn’t want to really go out and play,” she said.
Keller asked school nurse Patti Butler to examine him and was alarmed at what she saw.
“His skin was translucent and that’s when I said, ‘Nicole, it’s Nurse Patti. Please, I’ve only seen someone look this color once in 25 years, prove me wrong,'” she said.
Despite Butler’s constant phone calls, Campbell waited a couple of days to take Nathan to the doctor.
“Honestly, I wrote it off. I really thought she was being kind of alarmist because I didn’t see anything wrong with him,”she said. “Then that night, the doctor himself called and said we got the results of the blood test and you need to go right to CHOP (the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).”
Nathan was diagnosed with leukemia and immediately started treatment at the hospital. He’s currently in remission and Campbell his crediting Butler with saving his life.
“If she hadn’t called us, we would not be not be standing here talking about Nate today,” she said. “I believe that firmly that she saved him.”
Campbell nominated Butler in a contest called America’s Greatest School Nurse. Butler said she just wanted to see Nathan get well.
Since Nathan’s compromised immune system doesn’t allow him to return to school yet, classmates send him messages and save his spot in class.
“Be strong and we know you’re coming back soon.”