Americans remember the final days of President James A. Garfield, the nation’s star-crossed Twentieth President.
He died on September 19, 1881, several months after suffering a gunshot wound at the hands of a deranged assassin.
After enduring a long, unsuccessful course of medical care in Washington D.C., the 49-year old President made a final request to visit his ocean front cottage one last time.
When it became apparent his physicians could not save him, friends and family members transported the dying man to his New Jersey vacation home so he could look at the ocean one last time.
Recently, a terminally ill woman in Queensland made a similar request. She wanted to experience the beauty of the sea once more.
She implored an ambulance crew transporting her to a palliative care facility to make a quick detour so she could gaze at the waves.
Paramedics Graeme Cooper and Danielle Kellan obtained permission from their supervisor to honor the patient’s wishes.
They transported the ailing woman to a bluff overlooking a beach. She could view the water and see an island in the distance.
The paramedics propped her up on the gurney so the woman could look at the scene more easily.
They could not transport her all the way down to the shore’s edge, so one of them carried some sea water up to her.
The woman appreciated their kindness. She reportedly told the ambulance crew that she felt “at peace” and that all seemed right with the world.
An account of this event later surfaced on Facebook. The heart touching story eventually went viral.
Many people around the world could relate to the dying woman’s desire to see the ocean, and to her caretakers efforts to honor her wishes.
Later, one of the paramedics reported that his ambulance crew in Queensland has often received these types of special requests from terminally ill patients.
He indicated his team seeks to comply with the wishes of patients whenever possible.
They value the opportunity to help bring some measure of solace to seriously ill or dying patients.