A terminally ill hospital patient spent one of his last evenings alive enjoying a cigarette and a glass of wine while he watched the sun set, thanks to the efforts of kind-hearted staff.
Carsten Flemming Hansen was being treated at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark when an aneurysm in his abdomen ruptured. The 75-year-old was deemed too sick for surgery and was told he had just hours, perhaps days to live, after the emergency last Tuesday.
Nurse Rikke Kvists gave Hansen and his family the news, noting the sick man had remarked he would like to enjoy a glass of wine and a cigarette as he prepared to die. Kvists decided that despite the hospital’s strict no smoking policy, Hansen would get his wish. The patient’s bed was wheeled onto a balcony so he could smoke, and a bottle of wine left over from a Christmas party was duly produced.
Nurse Kvist told Avisen DK: “It was a very cosy and relaxed atmosphere. Of course his relatives were also affected by the fact that he was going to die and they were sad, but it was cosy and there was humour.”
Hansen’s daughter Mette Gold Bech Demuth told BT: “My father’s last wish was to be allowed to enjoy his wine and some cigarettes. It was the best thing for him. It meant a lot to him throughout life. He was annoyed that he was not allowed to smoke inside. For he would really like to have his very last cigarette.
“The nurses chose to bend the rules… they showed empathy and tenderness for my father. It also meant a lot to us as a family that my father could have his last wish fulfilled.”
Following his death three days later, the hospital posted a photo of Hansen on the balcony with his cigarette and wine, with the permission of his family. It has been shared more than 5,000 times and liked by 73,000 Facebook users.