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‘She Was Just Ecstatic.’ Paramedics Grant a Woman’s Final Wish to See the Beach

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Two Australian paramedics who honored a dying woman’s final wish to go to the beach one last time have touched hearts around the world.

The patient was being transported to a palliative care unit in Queensland when she expressed that “she just wished she could be at the beach again,” Queensland Ambulance Services posted on Facebook. The paramedics then made a small detour so the woman could be beside the ocean.

A moving photo, showing a paramedic and the woman in her hospital bed looking out to sea was posted along with the message. Since Thursday, the post has been shared more than 18,000 times and received 57,000 likes.

“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,” Graeme Cooper, the paramedic in the photo, told ABC.

Cooper told ABC that since the woman was on a stretcher and not able to get to the water herself, he scooped some into a bag for her.

“I thought the next best thing is I can get some ocean and bring it to her,” he said. “She was just ecstatic,” he added.

The post has garnered thousands of replies, and prompted many to share similar stories.

MJ Grant, a nurse, posted a comment about taking care of a terminally ill man who had trouble sleeping.

“One night he expressed how he missed the sunrises. So every morning when I was on that night, I would time it that I was in his room opening the blinds and we would sit and watch the sunrise,” she wrote.

Hervey Bay officer-in-charge Helen Donaldson wrote on Facebook, “Sometimes it is not the drugs/training/skills – sometimes all you need is empathy to make a difference!”


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Write to Laignee Barron at Laignee.Barron@time.com