Ambulance officers to grant dying wishes for terminally ill

A DEDICATED ambulance will soon grant last wishes to dying Queenslanders.

The decommissioned ambulance will travel within a 100km radius across the southeast, driving terminally ill people to achieve their wishes. 

Health Minister Steven Miles said the Government contributed the ambulance and an initial $50,000. 

The Minister was joined by Betty, 92 this morning at Parliament to make the announcement before Betty visited the Botanic Gardens to see her favourite flowers and have a passionfruit ice cream. 

"We believe it's the first of its kind in the country," Mr Miles said. 

Requests for wishes will officially open from December 1 at the Palliative Care in Queensland Annual Awards Dinner at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Palliative Care Queensland CEO Shyla Mills said the initiative was modelled on a project in the Netherlands.

 "This program is not only beneficial to the wish recipient and their families, it is a wonderful opportunity for health professionals to volunteer and be a part of the last wish experience," she said.  

The Queensland Ambulance Service made international headlines in 2017 after they released a photo of paramedics' thoughtful gesture to a dying woman  at Hervey Bay.

Paramedics were transporting the woman to a palliative care unit when she told them she just wished she could be at the beach again.

Instead of going straight to the hospital, they took her to the ocean on the way.

Mr Miles referenced the moment when announcing the service this morning.

"Many people remember that very touching photograph of QAS staff in Hervey Bay with a terminally ill patient that they'd taken to look at the ocean while transporting her," Mr Miles said.

"She was able to see Fraser Island in the distance and smell the salty air before going home for the last time, per her request.

A second touching case also went viral on social media in September 2018. Officers on the Gold Coast were transporting a man to palliative care when his wife noted he had barely eaten for two days. 

The comment led to a trip to McDonald's for a caramel sundae. 

The photo of the patient, named Ron, enjoying his sundae attracted more than 800 likes on Twitter and thousands on Facebook.