Former Paramedic Takes Terminally Ill Patients Out For One Final Journey
A former paramedic is fulling the final wishes of terminally ill patients by taking them on one last journey.
Kees Veldboer, 60, from the Netherlands, founder of the Stichting Ambulance Wens, or Ambulance Wish Foundation has provided more than 14,000 terminally ill people with a final journey in a specially designed ambulance and is still working during the coronavirus pandemic.
Through the foundation, Veldboer drives patients to places they'd like to see one last time or where they would like to say a final goodbye.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has implemented an 'intelligent lockdown', meaning only businesses that involve direct contact, such as barbers and hairdressers, have been told to shut up shop.
Residents have also been advised to stay at home but are allowed out as long as people stay at least 1.5 metres apart.
With many people choosing to stay indoors, it means Veldboer is able to get out and about with patients.
He said that he is now facing unprecedented demand for dying patients asking to be taken to see tulip fields in bloom.
Veldboer told the Daily Mail: "We fulfil wishes even now with the coronavirus. We are not in a complete lockdown so we are able to make those wishes come true.
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"We can go to open spaces, to flower gardens, to an empty zoo, a park, a lot of people want to see the sea, it's not forbidden.
"As long as we go to open places and there are not many people around, just one or two with the patient, we are fine."
As well as visiting nature, one non-mobile patient asked to be given the chance to say a last goodbye to his beloved pet horse and another requested a trip to see his boat.
Veldboer originally came up with the idea for the foundation while he was transferring a patient between hospitals and was hit with a delay.
To pass the time he asked the person if there was any where they would like to go, to which they told him they would like to go and see Rotterdam Harbour one last time, which they did.
One year later, he set up the foundation and has been working at it ever since.
Featured Image Credit: Storytrender
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