In October 2007, a young woman afflicted with osteosarcoma began treatment at Mass General. Over the course of 16 admissions, she and her caregivers developed a bond. “We watched her graduate from nursing school and begin her career at a Boston hospital,” writes Peter Dowling, RN. “She was loved by all of the staff here for her sense of humor and easy-going ways.”
On July 22, 2012, she was admitted for progressive shortness of breath. When the condition became irreversible, respecting her wishes, the clinical team issued a “Do Not Resuscitate-Do Not Intubate” order.
“She wanted to go home,” writes Peter. “Although we were concerned about her ability to tolerate the ride, we agreed, as it was her last wish and she and her family were aware of the risks.”
On Friday, July 27, the patient departed with paramedics Ray Gobbi and Robert Kilroy of Fallon Ambulance Service. “The EMTs knew she was going home with hospice, and they asked if she wanted to go anywhere first,” writes Peter. “She wanted to go to the beach.”
While Ray and Robert realized that it would be against protocol to take a patient to the beach, they were inspired by the famed story of Boston Bruins legend Bobby Orr “kidnapping” teammate Phil Esposito from Mass General, bed and all, after knee surgery so that he could attend the Bruins 1973 end-of-season party.
On Monday, the patient’s clinicians learned a new photo of her was on Facebook. Peter explains, “The photo shows her on a stretcher, smiling, at the beach with her mother. Our staff was so happy that these two extraordinary gentlemen thought to do this.”