Terminally Ill Patients Are Enjoying 1 Last Hurrah Thanks To An Ambulance And A Dream.

a man named kees veldboer excitedly posing in front of a yellow ambulance in the netherlands

As an ambulance driver in the Netherlands, Kees Veldboer was given the opportunity to experience countless meaningful interactions with the patients he transported.

But none were quite as life-changing as the time he transported a terminally ill man from one hospital to another in 2006. The man had been confined to a hospital bed for three months straight, so Kees offered to take a detour if there was a place he’d like to briefly visit.

As someone who had spent years sailing, the man chose to stop by the canal in Vlaardingen. The request was simple enough, but it ended up meaning so much more to him than Kees could have imagined.

“We stayed there for an hour on a beautiful sunny day, and tears of joy ran over his face due to this experience,” he said.

Seeing how much the visit meant to this man changed Kees’ life. In that moment, he promised that he’d find a way for him to sail one last time, a kind gesture the ill man appreciated but didn’t believe would be possible.

But Kees was determined. With the help of a tour boat company and his boss, he was able to take the patient, who was transported on a stretcher, out on the Rotterdam harbor.

And with that wish fulfilled, Kees decided to make it the first of many by starting an organization called Ambulance Wish Foundation.

With the help of 230 medically trained volunteers, terminally ill immobile patients are given the opportunity to have a last wish fulfilled on any day of the week, including holidays, at absolutely no cost.

Plus, there’s no such thing as a wish that’s too big! Many of them take place throughout the Netherlands, but they’re more than happy to do what they can for those whose wishes involve going abroad.

That being said, many of the wishes they receive are quite simple: to see the ocean again, enjoy an ice cream cone, and even see their home one last time. But no matter the type of wish they ask for, one thing remains the same: Having their request fulfilled is life-changing.

“The Ambulance Wish Foundation shows that people who are terminally ill and bed-ridden can have joy, even if they are sometimes so ill that they pass away on the same day or as in many cases a few days later,” Kees said.

So far, this incredible organization has changed the lives of 6,000+ terminally ill people. And although the founder, Kees, passed away suddenly from cardiac arrest in July 2021, the selfless work he began in 2007 is far from over.

“The planned wishes will, as far as possible, be carried out in the agreed manner in accordance with Kees’s wishes,” their website says.

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