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Last Wishes

Dutch volunteers challenge death by realising last wishes for dying people

Where would you go on your the last day out of your life? And who would you go with? In the Netherlands, the Ambulance Wish Foundation takes terminally ill patients wherever they want to go, in specially equipped ambulances operated by volunteers and medical professionals.

RTD follows patients and families to places that are full of meaning to them: the seaside, art galleries, a musical, or maybe just their own home... The patients may be old or young, suffering from cancer or congenital diseases but the process shows that dying can encompass love, hope and joy.

Helpers share what the service teaches them about death. And life. For Kees Veldboer, the former truck driver who founded the charity, “we are not on Earth for nothing. There is a reason why we are here, and we must find that reason.”

A senior male cancer patient lying on an ambulance stretcher is looking at an Old Master painting, surrounded by volunteers from the Ambulance Wish Foundation during a visit to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Still from RTD documentary Last Wishes.
In the Netherlands, the Ambulance Wish Foundation takes dying patients on their dream outing, giving them precious moments with their families.