Paramedics in Australia have taken extraordinary steps to support a terminally ill patient.
Let’s take a moment for the Queensland Ambulance Service, who have restored our faith in humanity after going “above and beyond” for one of their palliative care patients.
The Australian team shared a touching story on its Facebook page explaining that doing a good job doesn’t always mean following protocol at the expense of empathy.
Describing the story as “too good not to share”, the service’s Facebook page detailed the final trip of one a patient, as told by the officer of Hervey Bay, Helen Donaldson.
Donaldson explains that while on the way to the palliative care unit with a female patient – a journey that would be the patient’s last outside of the hospital – the woman expressed a longing to see the sea one last time.
She writes: “A crew were transporting a patient to the palliative care unit of the local hospital and the patient expressed that she just wished she could be at the beach again.”
Donaldson proudly reports that because of her team’s ability to see past their duties and treat each patient as an individual, they were able to give someone a “happy” end-of-life experience.
Recalling the emotional scene, Donaldson continues: “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!”
Signing off, the officer name checks the team members who helped make it happen, writing, “Great work Hervey Bay team.
“Danielle and Graeme, the service is very proud of you.”
The uplifting actions of the paramedics have seemingly inspired thousands of people, with many taking to Facebook to share their awe and gratitude for medical professionals.
One Facebook user expressed their gratitude to the paramedics, writing: “I have no words that adequately describe how touching that story is. Thank you to all ambos, everyday, but especially for these very special quiet moments.”
Another noted that it takes a “special breed” to work in positions of this nature, saying: “I’ve found that ambulance officers are a very unique breed of compassionate and caring men and women who are all unsung heroes.”
And as if we weren’t already feeling pretty choked up, one Facebook user shared their own story of a similar situation.
“Years ago, a fellow crew member and I had a situation where the patient was taking her last ride home. She asked to see the beach one last time. After going the beach and opening the rear door, we asked her if would like an ice cream, to which she replied yes with a giggle of delight.
A short time later the hardly licked ice cream fell to the floor. The patient had passed away. As she lay there still smiling at the last view that she ever saw, we had a minute’s silence for her. Although the memory is an old one, it is still vivid. Great work by this crew, well done guys and girls.”
So far, the post has been widely shared online and has amassed 59,000 likes from social media users all over the world.
Images: Queensland Ambulance Service