An elderly couple’s dying wish was fulfilled by a former paramedic who took them to visit a beach for the last time.
Kees Veldboer, 60, from the Netherlands set up a charity that helps dying patients the last chance to have a final trip before leaving this world.
The Dutch former medic brought the elderly couple to a beach for their final trip. Kees has fulfilled more than 14,000 terminally ill patients’ wishes. The amazing idea came to his mind when he was working as a paramedic and had to transfer a terminally-ill patient to another hospital in 2006.
Kees asked a patient named Mario Stefanutto where he would like to go. Retired seaman Mario told him to see Rotterdam Harbor for one last time. Mario was on a stretcher but still, Kees arranged the trip and sent her to go sailing one last time.
Kees worked as an ambulance driver for more than 20 years, he used the hospital’s ambulances to help people around the country and later bought his own. Having his own ambulance helps him to take patients everywhere from art exhibitions to watching their favorite football team one last time.
Kees took one terminally ill teen from his home in the Netherlands to Switzerland to see mountains as he had never seen before.
He said: “Every day we help six terminally ill people. It’s so nice to see them happy- for us it’s something easy to do but for them, it’s something so special.
“We have driven people for miles, even to other countries, and taken them to some really amazing places.
“But for me, the most beautiful thing I think we have done for a woman who was in a hospital for months and after being given a terminal diagnosis, she was taken into a hospice.
”All she wanted was to see her home for one last time- we took her there and she was just standing there for an hour, looking around. Two days later, she died- it was such a beautiful wish, so simple yet so meaningful for her.”
He took some patient to see their favorite piece of art for one last time and Kees arranged many trips to the museum, after the opening hours so people could appreciate the art.
”It’s not only about helping the patient, but we also help their families and friends create beautiful memories. We know we cannot make them better but we give them so much joy in their last days and it’s special.”
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