A team of Queensland paramedics granted an elderly palliative care patient his final wish as he was transported to hospital, picking up a McDonald’s caramel sundae for him to enjoy in the ambulance.
Queensland Ambulance Service has shared a heartwarming picture of Ron McCartney, 72, tucking into his ice cream from a bed inside the ambulance last week.
The grin on the man’s face as he enjoyed what his daughter said was the last thing he was able to eat by himself revealed the impact of the simple gesture.
“We have been left humbled and tinged with sadness after receiving a message of gratitude that underlines an often-unseen aspect of patient care; the caring,” QAS said in a Facebook post on Tuesday night.
“Last week, Gold Coast resident Sharon called an ambulance for her husband Ron’s final journey to hospital and palliative care.
“Paramedics Kate and Hanna responded and during their initial observations of Ron, Sharon mentioned that he had barely eaten anything over two days.”
The officers asked Mr McCartney, “If you could eat anything, what would it be?”, and he told them he would love a caramel sundae, so the pair made a McDonald’s run for him.
His daughter Danielle Smith, confirmed her dad passed away on Saturday morning, 17 years after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
She said her mother Sharon praised the officers for allowing him the enjoyment of the treat.
“Thank you so very much to Hanna and Kate,” Ms Smith wrote on Facebook hours after the picture was shared.
“Dad enjoyed this so much and was the last thing he was able to eat by himself. Mum and I cannot thank QAS enough for all the help and compassion you have all given towards us each time we have had to call you.”
Ms Smith said her heart was aching after seeing how her dad’s story touched people.
“You are my hero and I love and miss you even more now which I thought was impossible,” she said.
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Ms Smith hoped the paramedics would gain recognition for their “wonderful work” and many others have also praised the duo’s kind gesture.
“QAS officers to the rescue. Something so simple that means so much,” one tweeted.
“Such an amazing profession to care for us in our most vulnerable of times.”
Another on Facebook wrote: “Nurses, carers, paramedics etc are doing these little things beyond clinical care that really make a difference for patients day in and day out – much more than people hear about.”