Listen: How an elderly patient transport inspired a Dutch ambulance charity

Ambulance Wish Foundation founder tells the origin story of the charity which has granted nearly 6,000 wishes to terminally-ill patients


ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — The Ambulance Wish Foundation, since 2007, has granted nearly 6,000 wishes to terminally ill patients.

Ambulance Wish Foundation founder Kees Veldboer got the idea for the foundation while driving an ambulance to move a patient from one hospital to another. He asked the man if there was anything he wanted to see while he was outside. The man told Veldboer he had sailed for many years when he was healthy, so Veldboer stopped by the canal.

"We stayed there for an hour on a beautiful sunny day, and tears of joy ran over his face due to this experience," Veldboer said.

Veldboer promised to take the man sailing a final time. Working with a tour boat company and his boss, Veldboer was able to bring the patient on a stretcher aboard, for one last trip through the Rotterdam harbor.

Listen to him tell the story

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