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Palliative patient's last wish to see the beach granted by paramedic crew

ABC News logo ABC News 23/11/2017 11:05:45 Patrick Williams and Isobel Roe

Carsten Flemming Hansen in a Denmark hospital. © Facebook/ Aarhus UniversitetshospitalCarsten Flemming Hansen in a Denmark hospital. Two Queensland paramedics who went out of their way to fulfil the final wish of a palliative patient and take her to the beach one last time say they're humbled by the worldwide attention.

A photograph of paramedic Graeme Cooper standing by a female palliative patient in a stretcher looking out over the waters at Hervey Bay has gone viral since it was shared on Queensland Ambulance Service's Facebook page.

Since it was posted on Thursday morning, it has been shared more than 6,500 times, liked by 22,000 people and has attracted more than 1,600 comments.

It revealed paramedics Graeme Cooper and Danielle Kellan were transporting a patient to the palliative care unit of the local hospital when she expressed that she just wished she could be at the beach again.

The crew took a small diversion to a local beach to give her the opportunity.

"It was basically going to be her last journey back to her house where she was basically going to pass away," Mr Graham said.

"She was saying how she moved to Hervey Bay with her husband on the spur of the moment and they've been here ever since.

"She said she loved the esplanade and the beach and we said, 'well, do you want us to take you down by the esplanade and pop you out of the truck and give you a look at the ocean?' "She was just ecstatic.

"If you're sensitive to your surroundings and what's going on and you can seize a small window of opportunity, take it."

Mr Cooper said they ended up taking the patient to the beach twice.

"This week we actually got called down there to bring her back to the hospital," he said.

"We said, 'how about that beach run again?' and she said, 'oh could we?' and we said 'absolutely'. "She said to Danielle, she's content now and that is everything is as it should be.

"I thought, if all these rocks weren't here I would get down to my jocks and take you into the ocean." Mr Cooper said he used the woman's vomit bag to scoop up some water and bring it to her, so she could put her arm in.

"I thought the next best thing is I can get some ocean and bring it to her," he said.

"She actually tasted the salt water.

"I can't describe the feeling, when you're in the situations with people. "It's just very humbling to have these experiences."

Ms Kellan, who took the photo, said she was privileged to be able to accommodate the woman's request.

"I said to the patient, 'what are you thinking?' She was looking out towards Fraser Island and she said, 'I'm at peace, everything's right'." She said the response from social media showed there were other similar stories of paramedics going above the call of duty for their patients.

"It's not just us, it's right across the service. There are a lot of responses on Facebook today, it's right around the world . there are stories today about other examples of the same thing," she said.

"It's nice to get a good news story out there."

Earlier this year a Denmark hospital shared a photograph of a 75-year-old patient enjoying his final wish of a cigarette and a glass of wine with his family, while watching the sunset from a hospital balcony.

23. marraskuuta 2017 13:05:45 Categories: ABC News

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