Memory Lane takes palliative care patients to happy places as final wish

In the final days of their lives, many find themselves in a care or health facility, reflecting on a lifetime of moments and memories in the places where they were happiest.

Memory Lane is a no-cost service that supports patients in end-of-life care to visit a place that holds meaning for them. The service is entirely donor-funded and staffed by medically trained health care professionals who volunteer their time.

It launched in May this year, after the Royal Flying Doctor Service saw a need for dedicated vehicles to help palliative care patients travel to their happy places.

For 93-year-old Jack Smith, it was his family farm in Romsey.

A third-generation Romsey farmer, Jack held a special connection with his land.

It was the place he had called home since he was six months old; the place he had raised a family of his own, and the place he had mourned the deaths of his son, Brian, and wife, Carmel.

Jack was collected by a patient transport officer and an ambulance transport attendant who chose to style their vehicle with wildflowers and eucalyptus leaves for the journey.

Jack’s daughter Maree, son Danny, granddaughter Lisa and grandson Steve greeted Jack at the farm gate.

The family savoured one last afternoon together on the farm.

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Credit: ABC News

Caption: The Memory Lane service was launched in May. (Supplied: Royal Flying Doctor Service)