A photo of an Aussie paramedic granting a palliative patient her last wish is getting worldwide attention after going viral.
The photo was posted to Facebook by the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) on Thursday morning and since then has been shared almost 16,000 times.
This story told to us by Helen Donaldson the Officer in charge of Hervey Bay is too good not to share. A crew were…
The pic also appeared on Twitter and the subreddits r/Australia, r/HumansBeingBros and r/UpliftingNews where it has accumulated total of over 70,000 upvotes.
— Kate Kyriacou (@KateKyriacou) November 22, 2017
According to the Facebook post, Queensland paramedics Graeme Cooper and Danielle Kellan were told by the patient that she would like to see the ocean one last time on the way to a pallative care unit.
The paramedics obliged and took a diversion to a nearby beach to grant the patient’s wish.
“It was basically going to be her last journey back to her house where she was basically going to pass away,” Cooper told ABC News. “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.”
Kellan, who took the photo, asked the patient what she was thinking as she looked at the ocean.
“She was looking out towards Fraser Island and she said, ‘I’m at peace, everything’s right,” Kellan told ABC News.
Reactions to the photo have been varied.
Some Redditors have noted that as the picture coincides with Thanksgiving, we should all take the opportunity to appreciate what we’ve got.
Others see it as a stark reminder of our mortality.
“Being old sucks. Being deprived of the simple pleasures of things like going down the ocean, go sit in your garden because you cant walk or being able to enjoy your food,” wrote the appropriately named Redditor NothappyJane.
Others find the picture beautiful and shared similar stories from their lives.
Kellan told ABC News that many paramedics go beyond 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.
Cannot commend the QAS more. They’re wonderful people doing a taxing job yet they always do the very best by their patients without question. This was above and beyond and the most beautiful gesture for someone who knew what was coming and just wanted a lovely, lasting memory.
— Nicholas (@NickJMB) November 23, 2017
But one Reddit discussion centred on the fact that such a pic might not actually be possible in America.
“As an American EMT, we would get in so much trouble if we did this,” wrote user after_words. “The lawyers would be shitting bricks.”
“True. Family could attempt to sue, but they would have to prove in court that the detour to the beach on the way to the hospital was negligent and directly contributed to the patient’s death,” wrote another.
“I can see that happening. “You took a 15-minute detour to the beach, and now the insurance company refuses to pay out,” a third chimed in.
The fact that this discussion even exists should at least make Australians thankful they are not in the American healthcare system.