A Dutch ambulance driver has helped fulfill the dying wishes of more than 14,000 people.
Retired paramedic Kees Veldboer, 60, came up with the idea while assisting a former sailor whose only wish was to sail a ship once more. Veldboern arranged for the stretcher-bound man to go sailing and so that was the beginning of Veldboer’s new humanitarian path — making wishes come true.
A year later Mr Veldboer founded the Stichting Ambulance Wens (Ambulance Wish Foundation) and has brought terminally ill people to weddings, museums, galleries, car shows, football matches and stables.
‘I’ve learned that people who are going to die have little wishes,’ he told BBC.
“Our youngest patient was 10 months old, a twin. She was in a children’s hospice and had never been home — her parents wanted to sit on the couch with her just one time.
And our oldest patient was 101 — she wanted to ride a horse one last time. We lifted her on to the horse with the help of a truck and later we moved her to a horse-drawn carriage — she was waving at everyone like royalty. That was a good wish,” Veldboer remembers.
‘Our mission is to improve the quality of the last days of a person’s life. By making their last wishes come true, we hope to bring a little light into their world.’