The ocean is an important place for a lot of people. It’s a playground, a church, or a place to meditate on life. And for a terminally ill woman, it was her dying wish to see it one last time. Two paramedics from the Queensland Ambulance Service granted that wish when they took her to Hervey Bay beach just days before she died.
Graeme Cooper, one of the paramedics, asked her what she was thinking as he stood beside her looking out at the horizon. “I’m at peace,” she answered. “Everything is right.”
The woman decided she wanted to leave palliative care to die at home with her husband. On the way there, Cooper, along with paramedic Danielle Kellum, stopped by the beach for the first time with the patient. “We asked her how she would feel to go by the beach on the way home and she lit up,” Cooper told the Daily Mail. “It was wonderful, actually.”
A few days later, on her way back to the hospital on the central coast of Queensland, they did it again. This time, they helped her taste the salt water. “I thought if all these rocks weren’t here I’d get down into my jocks and take you into the ocean,” Cooper said. “And I would have, however, I thought the next best thing was I can get some ocean and bring it to her.
I got a throwaway vomit bag and filled it with salt water,” Cooper explained. “She tasted it with her mouth. These things are always special, dealing with someone whose journey is coming to an end. It’s a powerful, moving, connecting moment… I can’t describe how it happens. It’s priceless.”