A former paramedic has revealed that he was granted more than 14,000 dying wishes to terminally ill patients, notably one where he took a couple to see snow for the last time.
Kees Veldboer, 60, came up with the idea of taking people to complete their final wishes and bought a fleet of ambulances to do so. The idea sparked into his head when he was transferring a patient between hospitals. There was a major delay, so Kees asked the patient what they would liked to do.
The patient suggested Rotterdam Harbour. Kees took the man straight there, went the extra mile and booked for him to go sailing one more time.
Around a year later, Kees founded ‘Sticthing Ambulance Wens’ (Ambulance Wish Foundation) alongside his wife Ineke, 61. He since taken patients to numerous locations, including football matches, art exhibitions and even the Swiss mountains.
Kees said: “It’s so nice to see them happy- for us it’s something easy to do but for them it’s something so special. We have driven people for miles, even to other countries, and taken them to some really amazing places.
“But for me, the most beautiful thing I think we have done for a woman who was in a hospital for months and after being given a terminal diagnosis, she was taken into a hospice.
“All she wanted was to see her home for one last time – we took her there and she was just standing there for an hour, looking around. Two days later, she died. It was such a beautiful wish, so simple yet so meaningful for her.”