While being transferred to palliative care, the woman told members of the Queensland Ambulance Service team that she really wanted a few moments by the beach.
And that’s what she was given.
Hervey Bay paramedics Graeme Cooper and Danielle Kellan made a slight detour, and brought the patient to the water. A Facebook post on the first responders’ page told the story.
“Tears were shed and the patient felt very happy,” the post reads.
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“Sometimes it is not the drugs/training/skills – sometimes all you need is empathy to make a difference!”
Cooper stood by the woman in the hospital bed for a few peaceful moments, and that’s when Kellan captured the now-viral photo.
Speaking to ABC News in Australia, Cooper explained that this was the second time they were transporting the woman, and they had brought her to the beach before.
“We said, ‘how about that beach run again?’ and she said, ‘oh could we?’ and we said ‘absolutely,'” Cooper told the news outlet.
The woman stayed away from the water, because there were rocks on the ground that made it impossible to move her bed. But that didn’t stop Cooper from making sure the water got to her.
Cooper used her vomit bag to capture some of the beach water and brought it back to her.
“I thought the next best thing is I can get some ocean and bring it to her,” he said.
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The dying woman later told Cooper’s partner, Kellen, how satisfied she was.
“She said to Danielle, she’s content now and that is everything is as it should be.”
The paramedics have earned worldwide recognition for their heartwarming gesture. The photo has been shared more than 13,000 times since it was posted on Facebook Thursday.
As Facebook user Judy Searly put it: “Dignity is one of the last things you can give to a person at the end of their life journey, this was dignity personified by the crew, thank you.”