From February 2019 onwards, the TLC Ambulance will be delivering special moments to children in palliative care by transporting them to wherever they wish for the day.
For terminally ill children, the chance to visit a treasured spot is a final opportunity to experience a true sense of joy and create a beautiful memory. The TLC Ambulance is committed to helping this become a reality for as many kids as they can.
Along with the necessary equipment on board to ensure the children have a safe journey, the ambulance will be repurposed to provide a calm and enjoyable environment for the kids and their families. The revamped vehicle will include themed wraps of the interior and custom screens that will capture footage of the day for families to treasure forever.
Requests to ride in the ambulance will come from approved healthcare professionals and managed by TLC for Kids, with Ambulance Victoria paramedics volunteering their time to drive the vehicle and provide clinical support, alongside a TLC for Kids staff member.
The idea for the ambulance came from Ambulance Victoria paramedic Jemima Tawse, who was inspired by her own experience with her daughter Emily, who passed away last year and received support from TLC for Kids throughout her life. Inspiration also came from the story of a Queensland paramedic who took his palliative care patient to the ocean to fulfil her final wish.
“The TLC Ambulance will help patients in palliative care and their families create special moments away from a clinical setting, whether that be going home to see their family pet, watching a footy match or doing something they love,” said Jemima.
As a paramedic herself, Jemima also hopes it will reaffirm for the paramedics volunteering their time why they do their job, highlighting how their care and compassion can truly make a difference to someone’s last moments.
Associate Professor Tony Walker, Ambulance Victoria’s CEO, echoed this sentiment, saying “Ambulance Victoria is part of the fabric of our community and we are pleased to be able to be work with TLC for Kids to make a difference for children in need…”
‘“We will be working with TLC for Kids to have the vehicle on the road by early 2019.”
Ahead of the first TLC Ambulance ride, TLC for Kids is looking for key supporters to champion the project with hopes of eventually bringing it across Australia.
“This incredibly important project will help create beautiful, lasting memories for sick children and their families,” says Founder and CEO of TLC for Kids, Tim Conolan.