Sometimes the best medicine isn’t medicine at all. It comes in the form of a smile, a hug, or a kind gesture from your fellow man.
When I’ve been ill in the past, I know it’s not always a bottle of antibiotics that works the most wonders. Rather it’s a neighbor bringing me a meal or a family member stopping by to do my dishes.
Even those in the medical field know that there are times when science and technology need to be set aside, and humanity needs to take precedence over someone’s care.
One man from Queensland, Australia, experienced some of life’s best medicine during an ambulance ride that would be his last.
Seventy-two-year-old Ron McCartney was a cancer patient in Gold Coast. The poor man hadn’t eaten in 48 hours when the Queensland Ambulance Service came to transport him.
While on his way to Robina Hospital with his wife by his side, McCartney was probably asked more than a few questions.
Doctors and EMTs love to ask all those personal probing questions, don’t they? When was the last time you ate? What’s your pain level like? What’s your social security number and bank account information?
But the most important question McCartney was asked during this particular encounter had nothing to do with finances or bodily functions.
Instead, QAS officers Kate Hanafy and Hanna Hoswell made a very special inquiry as to what the elderly man would like to eat.
ABC Gold Coast reported that these ladies asked the man on his way to palliative care (hospice in the U.S.) what he would choose if he could eat anything at that moment.
“It put a smile on his face,” his wife told ABC. “He got a couple of pretty girls conned again. Got what he wanted. It was typical Ron.”
While he could have asked for a $50 steak, Mr. McCartney had something much simpler in mind. It turns out his favorite food is none other than a caramel sundae.
A simple request for a simple pleasure. “Sometimes there’s nothing left in our toolbox that we have to treat patients,” Hoswell told 9 News Gold Coast. “Other than to make them comfortable and happy in their final moment.”
These ladies definitely have a firm grasp on true patient — and human — care. Their kind gesture made all the difference for McCartney and his family that day.
“He meant something,” his daughter Danielle Smith shared with ABC. “He wasn’t a number.” Sadly, the 72-year-old passed away on September 1.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during their time of grief. No doubt they have some peace knowing their beloved father and husband was well cared for during his final moments.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.