Heartland Hospice serving North Central Illinois and Southern Wisconsin was able to grant patient James’, or Jim to those close to him, last wish to ride a motorcycle one last time. James has been riding a motorcycle ever since he was around 10 years old and now at 72 and suffering from dementia, he had to sell his motorcycles and misses the feel of the breeze.
“Jim told me his one last wish was to sit on a motorcycle one last time and I thought ‘we could do one better than just sitting on a motorcycle,” said Kelly Bailey, Heartland Medical Social Worker and Jim’s nurse for the last two weeks. Kelly’s request for riders to help with Jim’s last wish went viral, receiving over 1,000 shares on Facebook. Bikers from all over came to escort Jim on his final ride.
“I was able to locate someone who had a sidecar which was really the only way my father would have been able to enjoy the ride,” said Melissa, one of Jim’s daughters.
Lyle, who drove Jim around on his bike, heard from a friend about Jim’s last wish and was one of the few people around the area who has a sidecar and was happy to give him one good ride.
With a police escort and over 200 bikers, Jim got his final wish; just 2 years after his family sold his motorcycles because of his diagnosis. “It really was a depressing point in his life when he had to let that go and sell the motorcycles when his health was declining, so this day was amazing and you could tell, as I was riding behind him, just with him waving, you could tell that it meant a lot and he was happy inside, and that’s all that counts, so that he could do it one last time,” said Melissa.
Jim was thankful he had the chance for this one last ride; he said the ride on Saturday was “real good.”
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