A family in Australia has paid tribute to the paramedics who granted their dad’s final wish by taking him to his favourite beach on the one year anniversary of his death.
Chris Shaw was being driven to his family home so he could spend his final days there, when he asked if he could see Burns Beach in Perth one last time.
Granting his wish, the ambulance drivers made a detour so the father-of-four could spend time outside, just two weeks before he passed away surrounded by his loved ones.
The 45-year-old father died on August 31 last year after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of stomach cancer just 14 months before, the Joondalup Times reports.
Chris, from Currambine, underwent seven rounds of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with adenocarcinoma in June 2017, before having his entire stomach and 4cm of his oesophagus removed that October – just one day after his 45th birthday.
Six weeks later, the doting father started a four-and-a-half week course of intensive radiation, while continuing a milder dose of chemotherapy. He was told he was in remission in February 2018 after scans showed no cancer had been detected.
However, just two months later in April he suffered a twisted bowel and triple internal hernia and underwent yet another operation – although scans still showed no cancer.
To celebrate, the family went on holiday for the first time in more than six years but whilst there, Chris started to feel unwell and had flu-like symptoms. It was then discovered the cancer had returned and had spread to his bones.
The dad-of-four was given between three days and one week to live, with Chris’ wife Kylie Shaw describing it as ‘the most heartbreaking experience of our lives’.
Kylie said, as per the Joondalup Times:
Chris outlived their original diagnosis from having at least 25 blood transfusions and four weeks later he decided it was time to head home.
On August 15, he was taken home via his favourite Burns Beach and a little more than two weeks later, on August 31, he lost his battle.
As per 7NEWS, Kylie said the family would be forever grateful for the paramedics’ kind gesture, something she said could ‘never’ be replaced.
The tiniest gesture, tiniest gesture. It’s not financial, it’s not monetary, it’s not anything in your hand. It was just one quick question and out in the fresh air for twenty minutes.
They were our angels for the day, they really did become our angels. And for that we’ll be eternally grateful. Seeing the ocean, feeling the sun, the breeze, endless… Nothing would ever be able to replace that, ever.
The family are raising funds for No Stomach for Cancer today (September 1) by taking part in the Team Australia Walk. You can donate to the cause here.
Rest in peace, Chris.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).