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Heartland Hospice Helps Patient Achieve Last Wish to Fish

When James, Spiritual Care Coordinator at Heartland Hospice serving South Jersey, heard about patient Thomas’s wish to go fishing on a boat one last time, he knew he had to do everything in his power to make that fishing trip happen. James spoke with Tara, Senior Administrator, about Thomas’s wish and she worked with the rest of the staff at Heartland Hospice to help make his last wish come true.

Thomas was an avid fisherman and enjoyed fishing with a group of veterans back in his younger years. Tara, James and Salvatore, RN Case Manager, helped Thomas achieve his wish and planned the trip to Sea Isle City, NJ. On the day of the trip, Thomas was smiling from ear to ear and couldn’t thank everyone enough. Thomas's wife, along with his best friend, were there to see him off, while James and Salvatore joined him on the boat to fish.

“It was exciting to watch his reaction when the boat sped up while going through the inlet, and as the sun came up that morning, we were greeted by a pod of dolphins. While we were fishing, Thomas talked continually about his past fishing trips” said James.

“I was happy to help Thomas achieve his wish of being able to go out fishing one last time. The day was perfect; from the weather, to Thomas catching the first fish and being able to reel it in without any help. This experience with him has left a lasting impression and leaves me with pride in choosing hospice nursing as a profession,” Salvatore said.

A couple of fish were caught and Thomas was very appreciative for the one last boat ride. He sat in a beau bay chair facing the ocean while heading back to the dock and was extremely content with his day. The Heartland Hospice team was honored to be able to make his last wish come true.

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