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EXPLAINED: The story behind this touching viral photo

TOUCHING: Paramedics fulfilled the wish of a palliative care patient who wanted to visit the beach for one of the last times.
TOUCHING: Paramedics fulfilled the wish of a palliative care patient who wanted to visit the beach for one of the last times. Contributed

AS SHE looked out towards Fraser Island, a dying woman looked up at two Hervey Bay paramedics and said "I'm at peace, everything is right".

These words, spoken by a palliative care patient during a stop on the way to hospital, resonated with Danielle Kellan and Graeme Cooper who recalled the story on Thursday.

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They spoke of how they had been tasked to go to the woman's home on Wednesday and bring her to the hospital.

It wasn't the first time the pair had met the woman in her 70s.

They had driven her home just one week earlier.

"It was basically a journey back to her home where she was going to pass away at home," Graeme said.

During that first trip, the woman told the paramedics how she and her husband moved to Hervey Bay and fell in love with the esplanade and the beach.

It was then Graeme asked if she'd like to visit the beach to look at the ocean.

The answer was yes.

 

MOVING: Paramedics Danielle Kellam and Graeme Cooper from Hervey Bay Ambulance Station.
MOVING: Paramedics Danielle Kellam and Graeme Cooper from Hervey Bay Ambulance Station. Alistair Brightman

On their second trip, Graeme asked if she'd like to visit the beach again to which she replied "could we?"

"She could see the pier, Fraser Island right through to Point Vernon," he said.

"I got a vomit bag (out of the ambulance) and I thought 'well, if all these rocks weren't here I'd get into my jocks and take you down into the ocean' and I would have.

"However, I turned around and saw the next best thing and brought the ocean to her."

Graeme then filled the bag with sand and water.

The woman was able to reach into the bag and feel, smell and taste the beach.

When Danielle turned around and saw Graeme standing with the patient, she immediately took a photo.

"It was exactly Graeme," she said.

"He's that sort of person all the time (and) it was the epitome of Graeme."

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Sending the photo to Hervey Bay Officer in Charge Helen Donaldson, the image was then shared with Queensland Ambulance Service who posted it to their Facebook page.

As of Thursday afternoon, the post had gained nearly 30,000 reactions.

Danielle said it wasn't just herself and Graeme who had these moments, it was paramedics all around the world.

For Graeme, the experience was a reminder to never take anything for granted.

"Life is too fast today," he said.

"We don't take the time to take in the smell of the roses and look at the beauty around us."

Topics:  editors picks fccommunity hervey bay ambulance station queensland ambulance service



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