• keithhickman

Doctor Shares Things Terminally Ill Children Wished They Could've Done More

Dr. Alistair McAlpine, from Cape Town, South Africa, has one of the toughest jobs there is. He works as a pediatrician with children in palliative care, helping them to live out their heartbreakingly short lives with as little pain and as much joy as possible.

Dr. McAlpine shared a series of tweets from his terminally ill child patients, after asking what they enjoyed in life, and what gave it meaning: "For an assignment I asked some of my terminally paediatric palliative care patients what they had enjoyed in life, and what gave it meaning. Kids can be so wise, y'know." Here are some of the responses.


NONE said they wished they'd watched more TV

NONE said they should've spent more time on Facebook

NONE said they enjoyed fighting with others

NONE enjoyed the hospital

Many, mentioned their parents, often expressing worry or concern:

'Hope mum will be ok. She seems sad.'

'Dad mustn't worry. He'll see me home again soon.'

'God will take care of my mum and dad when I'm gone'

ALL of them loved ice cream.

ALL of them loved books or being told stories, especially by their brave parents:

'Harry Potter made me feel brave.'

'I love stories in space!'

'I want to be a great detective like Sherlock Holmes when I'm better!'

Many, wished they had spent less time worrying about what others thought of them, and

valued people who just treated them 'normally'.

'My real friends didn't care when my hair fell out.'

'Jane came to visit me after the surgery and didn't even notice the scar!'

Many of them loved swimming, and the beach.

Almost ALL of them valued kindness above most other virtues:

'My granny is so kind to me. She always makes me smile.'

'Jonny gave me half his sandwich when I didn't eat mine. That was nice.'

'I like it when that kind nurse is here. She's gentle. And it hurts less.'

Almost ALL of them loved people who made them laugh:

'That magician is so silly! His pants fell down and I couldn't stop laughing!'

'My daddy pulls funny faces which I just love!'

'The boy in the next bed farted! Hahaha!'

Laughter relieves pain.

Finally, they ALL valued time with their family.

Nothing was more important.

'Mum and dad are the best!'

'My sister always hugs me tight'

'No one loves me like mummy loves me!'

Take home message:

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 kids wished they could've done more. The rest is in the details.

Oh...and eat more ice-cream.

(directly quoted from Dr. McAlpine's tweets)