The Ambulance Wish Foundation takes immobile terminally ill people with them on a final trip of choice.
An ambulance is often deployed to bring people to the hospital. With the Ambulance Wish foundation it’s the other way around; this foundation picks up terminally ill people from the hospital to grant them one last wish.
Having a final wish granted at the end of your life can make people very happy. As founder Kees Veldboer puts it; "People are often very nervous and restless beforehand, but after their trip they’re calmer and stronger."
Sometimes the trip takes a couple of hours, sometimes it takes all day. It is guided by medical professionals: all of them are volunteers.
The organisation has about 270 volunteers; nurses, chauffeurs, doctors and icare nurses drive around in six adapted ambulances throughout all of Europe to grant wishes.
Specially equipped Ambulances
Going for a ride with the ambulances ensures that the people can get away from the environment where they’re sick. A new, or old trusted environment where they can enjoy their day carelessly with friends and family. A last, pleasant day. Not just for the patients, but for their family as well.
The trips can entail anything, from attending a wedding or funeral or soccer game, to visiting a relative, going back to their old house, going to the beach or even a theme park.
Whatever it is; the specially equipped ambulances make it all possible.
Founder Kees has designed the ambulances so that they’re suited for the cause. As opposed to other ambulances, they have (blinded) windows on the sides so that the people in the ambulance can look outside. The stretchers are adapted to be ultimately comfortable, but they still come with full medical kit.
The Origin of the Ambulance Wish Foundation
Kees was taxi driver, but wasn’t happy with his profession. However when his boss launched the first taxiservice in the Netherlands for people with a wheelchair, Kees’ interest was immediately sparked.
He wanted to work with an ambulance and asked the company what that took. Besides a driver’s license for a truck, he needed a medical license as well. Because he had a family to support, it wasn’t possible for him to go back to school and study medicine. More than 12 years he drove a truck. When he heard that the guidelines for bing an ambulance driver had changed and that only a first aid certificate was required, he managed to finish the course and get his certificate within three days.
One day in 2006, work got so quiet that Kees and his coworkers had to call around to see if they were needed someplace. Their bosses answered they could go pick up a patient to bring him to another hospital. They picked him up and since they weren’t in a hurry, they asked if there was someplace he wanted to go or wanted to see. The patient turned out to be an old sailor and he wanted to see the harbour one last time. With a couple more phone calls, they managed to get the terminally ill man on a boat for the last time and granting his wish made Kees so incredibly happy, he decided to start a foundation. A mere half year later, the Ambulance Wish foundation was a fact.
The Ambulance Wish Foundation
Visit the website to learn more about this wonderful foundation and all the good they do.