A caring team of paramedics have been labelled “angels on Earth” after they granted a dying gran’s final wish, taking her to enjoy the sights and sounds of the ocean one last time.
Just two days before she passed away, Carmen Leon de la Barra was taken to one of her favourite places in the world, thanks to the dedicated New South Wales Ambulance crew and charity Dreams2Live4.
Instead of spending her final days indoors, the loving mother, who was suffering from end-stage bowel cancer, was carried on a stretcher to Brighton-Le-Sands beach in Sydney to soak up some last rays of sunshine and take in the view she has enjoyed many times over the years.
In a tear-jerking post, shared on Facebook by NSW Ambulance, Carmen can be seen taking in the special moment with her husband, their children and grandchildren, overwhelmed with the kind gesture that was granted so quickly before her death.
Although severely unwell, she made the effort to open her eyes just for a moment to enjoy the special time with those she loved the most.
“It was our great honour to team up with Mt Druitt Palliative Care, Blacktown Hospital and Dreams2Live4 to grant the final wishes of Carmen Leon de la Barra, who was suffering end-stage bowel cancer,” NSW Ambulance wrote alongside the beautiful video clip.
“She wanted to visit her beloved Brighton-Le-Sands beach, where she had shared many happy memories with her family over the years. Her wish was granted two days before she passed.”
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph following her mum’s death, Tatiana Salloum said her mother was “so happy” to see the ocean once again after months away from the water.
She told the publication for years on end her parents would stroll along the beach after work with a thermos of tea in hand, admiring the beautiful view, so when her mum was finally able to journey to the beach again, it was a special moment.
“It was at least two or three months since mum had seen the water,” she told The Daily Telegraph. “Mum had been sleeping a lot but when got to the beach she knew where she was and managed to open her eyes.”
The video, which was published on social media on Tuesday, received thousands of views in a matter of hours with hundreds more praising the paramedics for carrying out Carmen’s last wish.
“This is just beautiful. To the people that organised this I take my hat off to you. You are all amazing,” one person commented on Facebook.
“You guys deserve so much more acknowledgement for the work you do above and beyond. A very big thank you from a grateful member of the public,” another wrote.
While a third simply said: “Wow. You guys are angels on earth”.
This isn’t the first time Australian paramedics have gone out of their way to make a person’s final moments easier. Back in 2017, Hervey Bay paramedics Danielle and Graeme were praised for taking one of their patients to see the ocean one last time.
The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) shared a photo on their Facebook page at the time, showing Graeme looking out over the ocean next to a trolley bed that was propped up so his palliative care patient could look out over the water one last time.
“A crew were transporting a patient to the palliative care unit of the local Hospital and the patient expressed that she just wished she could be at the beach again,” they wrote.
They said the paramedics decided to take a diversion and drove her to the beach at Hervey Bay where they wheeled her out and found a comfortable spot for her to take in the view.