Two Australian paramedics are being praised for their act of kindness for a terminally ill man as he road in their ambulance on the way to hospital.
Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) described on Facebook how their paramedics Hanna Hoswell and Kate Hanafy responded to a call in the Gold Coast last week.
As they loaded Ron McCartney, 72, into the ambulance, his wife Sharon told them he hadn’t eaten anything in the past two days. The paramedics asked McCartney if he could eat anything right now, what would it be?
He responded by asking for a caramel sundae.
“He said straight away without any hesitation ‘a caramel sundae,’” Hoswell told CTVNews.ca.
The two paramedics called their boss for permission, and after receiving it, purchased McCartney a sundae at a McDonald’s on the way to the pallative care unit at hospital.
“He was really happy,” Hoswell recounted. “It’s just something so small, you’re getting an ice cream for someone, but they haven’t been able to leave their house or do anything for themselves for the past few days so something as small as that has a massive impact on them.”
“I think he said, ‘bloody great’ and then licked the spoon,” she said.
McCartney would die a few days later after a 17-year battle with prostate cancer. His daughter Danielle Smith shared the news on Facebook writing: “Well the day has come, that we have said our final good-byes. My dad was one spectacular human being. My heart is absolutely shattered right now…I love you Dad forever and a day.”
She later thanked the QAS paramedics for their kindness and compassion in a comment on the QAS post.
“Thank you so very much to Hanna and Kate, Dad enjoyed this so much and was the last thing he was able to eat by himself,” she said. “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.”
The family’s thanks were something Hoswell and Hanafy were grateful to hear.
“It’s a really difficult, really demanding job in terms of the hours and the physical work you put into it as well as the emotional so it’s really lovely to have a family go out of their way to express their gratitude to us,” she said.
The QAS said they shared the story to help remind people why paramedics do what they do. They write, “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.”