A vanilla sundae with hot fudge caramel, Skor chocolate, and pecans. That’s the meal that a 72-year-old man with brain cancer requested before he passed on Thursday.
As he lay in a stretcher in an old jean jacket, Tilley hat and sunglasses, Donn Hale smiled, eating his ice cream, and even posing for a picture or two afterwards, according to the Regina Leader-Post.
The picture, taken on May 7 and shared through Facebook, gained local social media attention over the long Victoria Day weekend. The post, which was uploaded by Hale’s daughter April Boldt, features her standing beside her father’s stretcher alongside two Saskatchewan Patient Transfer Service attendants.
They were were transporting Hale from the Regina General Hospital to Wascana Grace Hospice, where he spent his final days.
Boldt says that as they were transporting Hale into the transportation vehicle, she found out that because of the non-emergency nature of the ride, attendants have the ability to take time getting to and from locations.
When one of the patient transfer attendants asked if they’d like to stop and see any locations on Hale’s final ride, she immediately asked if they could go to Milky Way for ice cream.
Boldt assumed that because of Hale’s state, he would be unable to exit the vehicle. So she was shocked when the two attendants began unloading her father, one stating that “he’s coming too!”
“I was shocked,” she said. “I was like ‘This is so incredible.’ We pulled by the side, and stood by the trees, and we were all talking, and there were kids playing.”
Even though her father could barely speak due to the brain cancer he was suffering from, he let their kind actions be known.
“When we got to (Wascana) Grace Hospice, my dad said, ‘This is the best day ever,’ ” said Boldt.
Even though her father is no longer with her, Boldt holds the day close to her heart.
“It really did make a difference,” she said. “It’ll be a memory I have forever.”