A paediatric doctor who asked some of his terminally ill patients what gave their life meaning has shared their touching responses online.
Dr Alastair McAlpine, from Cape Town, South Africa, said it was part of an assignment to speak to the children about what they enjoyed in life.
“Kids can be so wise, y’know,” he tweeted on 1 February. “Here are some of the responses (thread).”
McAlpine started off by saying none of the kids wished they had watched more TV or spent more time on Facebook.
Instead, they loved the simple things in life, such as their dog’s bark, how much their mum loved them, or building sandcastles at the beach.
During his conversations with the children, McAlpine said many expressed worry or concern for their parents, and hoped they wouldn’t worry too much when they had gone.
Many also reflected on wishing they had spent less time worrying about what others thought of them and valued people who just “treated them normally”.
One child said: “My real friends didn’t care when my hair fell out.”
The doctor summed up the Twitter thread with a take-home message for his followers, writing: “Be kind. Read more books. Spend time with your family. Crack jokes. Go to the beach. Hug your dog. Tell that special person you love them. These are the things these kids wished they could’ve done more. The rest is details. Oh... and eat ice cream.”
Twitter users thanked the doctor for sharing the responses, saying it has helped them reflect on their own lives.