Hospice, EMS team up for Lasting Memories

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Chatham-Kent Hospice resident Sandra poses for a photo with hospice staff and EMS volunteers before her outing to C.M. Wilson Conservation Area as part of the Lasting Memories Program.

In a joint initiative, a group of local paramedics from Chatham-Kent EMS and the team at Chatham-Kent Hospice are partnering to create lasting memories.

The Lasting Memories Program sees EMS and hospice personnel escort palliative patients on one end-of-life journey of their wish.

“We want to help families create a wonderful memory to carry with them throughout their final days together. One last visit to the farm, ride to the lake, or enjoying a sporting event – one last celebration,” shared Pete Morassutti, manager of mobile integrated health for Chatham-Kent EMS, said in a media release. “Medavie Health Services values being caring, innovative and community-minded, and Lasting Memories is an excellent example of how these values become reality.”

Through this program, staff at hospice will work with families on coordinating an outing while volunteer paramedics will accompany them throughout the excursion, alleviating any health or medical concerns.

For the inaugural first ride, hospice resident Sandra, her daughter, Cindy, son-in-law, Vince, and her two granddaughters visited C.M. Wilson Conservation Area for the afternoon. They brought a picnic lunch and enjoyed the fresh air.

“My daughter and I were looking up places in the area after I found out about this trip, and we stumbled across pictures for the conservation area. It looked so beautiful, I thought ‘I would love to see that in person!’ I never thought I would be able to go outside again, let alone in this beautiful setting,” said Sandra.

Two paramedics volunteered their time to accompany Sandra.

“Getting into the ambulance felt very smooth. They were very cautious and attentive to me. The ride was a bit bumpy, but they warned me before every bump, so I felt ready and comfortable,” Sandra said. “With the scooter, I got to cruise around and feel the wind in my hair and listen to birds. I even saw a snapping turtle!  One of the paramedics held him until my granddaughters could come over so they could see it. I got to see the wonder in their faces and not just hear about it later.”

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