Caring paramedics fulfil dying patient’s wish to see the beach one last time

A PHOTO of a compassionate Queensland paramedic fulfilling the wish of a palliative care patient who wanted to see the beach one last time has gone viral online.

Queensland paramedics Graeme Cooper and Danielle Kellan were transporting the woman to a palliative care unit in Hervey Bay, 280km north of Brisbane, when she told them how much she wished she could see the ocean again.

So, instead of going straight to the hospital, Mr Cooper and Ms Kellan took a small detour to the beach.


Officer in charge of Hervey Bay Helen Donaldson posted a heartwarming photo of the trip to Facebook from where it has since gone viral.

The touching image, which shows Mr Cooper standing beside the woman’s propped-up stretcher overlooking the ocean, has garnered more than 24,000 reactions and 7,000 shares since it was uploaded on Thursday morning.

PHOTO: Supplied/Queensland Ambulance

“She just wished she could be at the beach again,” the post reads.

“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.

“Sometimes it is not the drugs/training/skills – sometimes all you need is empathy to make a difference!

“Great work Hervey Bay team. Danielle and Graeme, the Service is very proud of you.”

Mr Cooper said they ended up taking the woman to the beach twice and the photo was taken on the second trip.

“It was basically going to be her last journey…where she was basically going to pass away,” Mr Cooper 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.

After propping the woman up on her stretcher so that she could see the ocean, Mr Cooper said he used a spare vomit bag to scoop up some of the salt water and bring it to her.

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

“She was just ecstatic…she actually tasted the salt water.

“She said to Danielle, she’s content now and that is everything is as it should be.”

“If you’re sensitive to your surroundings and what’s going on and you can seize a small window of opportunity, take it. It’s just very humbling to have these experiences.”