The amulance officers' simple gesture had given the man who was barely days away from death, a moment of peace to cherish with his wife.
He fought for his life but was losing the battle against a disease that refused to give up.
Before cancer had become a part of his life, Chris Shaw was a happily married man who lived with the love of his life, Kylie, raising their four children together. But within no time, their life had turned upside down. And Chris knew that he was nearing the end of his life.
In June 2017, Chris Shaw, a 42-year-old father of four from Perth, Australia, was diagnosed with stomach cancer. They did all they could to save his life, and Chris fought his best so that he can there for his kids as they grew up. But the cancer was so aggressive that after a year of battle, the 45-year-old was told that he just had just three days left to live.
“When we were told.. Chris had three days to live, our world crumbled ... I had three days to try and pull my life together.. how do you explain to your kids?” Kylie said, as reported by Perth Now. His wife and children were devastated by the news, but the father of four was accepting his fate, and wanted to spend what little time he had left at home, with his family.
We all have a bucket list of things we'd like to do before we die. But given the grueling nature of his disease and the fragile state of his health, it would only make sense that Chris was advised to stay safe and at home. He didn't think of anything but his family. However, Kylie wanted to make sure her husband had one last moment at a place that was special for his whole family—the beach they often visited and loved as a family.
On their way home from the hospital, Kylie requested the paramedics driving them, Jade McGlew and Jesse Roulston, to take a short detour so her husband could look at his family's favorite spot one last time. "Jade and Jesse were the 2 Ambulance officers that did that very selfless act of allowing Chris to see Burns Beach one last time when we broke out of hospital after a month," Kylie wrote on Facebook.
Looking at the ailing 45-year-old father who had battled terminal cancer, the paramedics knew it was the right thing to do. “The tiniest gesture.. tiniest gesture.. it's not financial.. it's not monetary.. it's not anything in your hand.. it was just one quick question and out in the fresh air for twenty minutes,” she said, as reported by Perth Now.
After spending weeks at stretch in the hospital, Chris was driven to Burns beach by the paramedics, which let him "feel the sun and breeze on his body," Kylie said; it allowed him to "feel normal at his favorite beach for 20 minutes". The place also held special memories as the couple often spent long days watching their kids play there, building sandcastles, going for a swim in the sea, and enjoying a picnic together. Chris couldn't help but break down into tears as he felt good to be outdoors again and also realize this is the last time he will see the sea, the horizon, and the waves. The place that gave him and his beloved family memories they will now cherish forever.
Paying a tribute to the paramedics who made it possible for Chris to look at the beach one last time, Kylie said, “They were our angels.. for the day.. they really did become our angels.. and for that we'll be eternally grateful. Seeing the ocean.. feeling the sun.. the breeze.. endless..you would be able to feel.. .. nothing would ever be able to replace that.. ever.”
Chris Shaw passed away on August 31, 2018. On the anniversary of his death, the family decided to reunite with Jade and Jesse. The ambulance officers, with their simple gesture, had allowed Chris the opportunity to reminisce about the life he had lived with his family. Their simple gesture had given the man who was barely days away from death, a moment of peace to cherish with his wife.