A patient being transferred to hospice knew it was her last trip. She wished she could see the ocean one last time and shared her wish with the ambulance crew. There was no hesitation when the paramedics took a detour.
In a photograph that has shaken the internet’s heart, a stretcher is captured facing the ocean. Queensland Advanced Care paramedic Graeme Cooper, is pictured standing next to the woman as she takes in the wonder of the beautiful blue ocean one last time.
The post shared by Hervey Bay officer-in-charge, Helen Donaldson, has been shared more than 24,000 times. The image originally captured by Officer Danielle Kellan is so moving in its silence. There is an understanding of this moment that hits so close to home for those who have had a loved one move to palliative care.
In her message, the paramedics Officer Donaldson praised her team:
"Above and beyond, the crew took a small diversion to the awesome beach at Hervey Bay to give the patient this opportunity – tears were shed and the patient felt very happy.
In following news articles, Officer Cooper shared a bit more about his time with the woman. She shared that she and her husband had moved to the area on a whim and lived there ever since. The ocean was her home. Then Cooper used his creativity and took a bag down to the water and filled it.
“I thought the next best thing is I can get some ocean and bring it to her,” he said.
The woman was able to put her arm in the water and “touch” the ocean again. Cooper shared that she even tasted the salt water for one last experience.
Empathetic Paramedics Touch Viewer’s Hearts
For those who are alert and aware of their prognosis, it is not uncommon to vocalize that there is one final experience they wish to have. There are countless videos of those who asked to see their family pets or favorite location one last time. There seems to be a peace that comes with the closure of knowing it is their final goodbye.
Donaldson explained, "Sometimes it is not the drugs/training/skills – sometimes all you need is empathy to make a difference!"
Viewers who were moved by the photo and post, were quick to chime in with their experiences and encouragement.
The ambulatory team shared that they had taken this same patient to the beach two weeks prior to this while transporting her from hospice back home to be with her husband. The quick trip offered her a moment of joy. When she shared her desire to go one last time, the team knew they needed to grant her wish.
"I said to the patient: ‘What are you thinking?'" Danielle recalled.
"And she said: ‘I'm at peace, everything is right'."
UPDATE: The paramedics’ thoughtful act even caught the attention of the royal family!
Prince Harry and his bride, Megan, invited the two to join the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for lunch during their Australian tour.
h/t: Telegraph UK
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Trucker Gets Dying Wish To Take Final Ride In 62-Year-Old Studebaker