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London nurses fulfil terminally ill patient’s wish to go to seaside

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A nursing team in London has done the “out of the ordinary” by helping a terminally ill patient to fulfil a final wish of going to the stay at the seaside with his family.

Thanks to the Northwick Park Hospital’s intensive care team, Laza Kekic spent the day in Brighton with his wife Joan – a place where the couple shared many happy memories.

“We’re grateful to all the doctors and nurses at St Mark’s and Northwick Park for their fantastic care”

Joan Kekic

The couple were joined on the seafront by family and friends, including his four grandchildren Natalia, Maria, Tanya and Luka and were provided a sea view room from their favourite Brighton hotel, the Jury’s Inn, to use as a base from which they could visit the beach.

Mr Kekic, 62, a world-renowned economist, has spent the past four months in hospital after he fell ill on holiday and was airlifted back to the UK.

The former regional director for Europe and director of Country Forecasting services at the Economist Intelligence Unit, had struggled with pneumonia, sepsis and multi-organ failure before further investigation revealed pancreatic cancer.

At their seaside visit, Mr and Mrs Kekic were accompanied by consultant Mike Dean and nurse Julius Caesar Lukban, courtesy of the Ambulance Wish Foundation.

Dr Dean, an intensive care consultant who has been looking after Mr Kekic, said: “Few intensive care patients are stable enough to travel outside a hospital environment, so it called for something out of the ordinary to help Laza.”

The foundation gives terminally ill patients the resources, transport and medical care they need to fulfil their final wishes, noted London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Northwick Park.

“It’s been a team effort between the Ambulance Wish Foundation, the hospital’s nursing and medical teams and Laza’s wife,” added Dr Dean.

Mr Kekic’s wife Joan said: “It’s been very tough but we’re trying to make each day as good as possible. Laza’s determination and positive outlook are an inspiration.

“We’re grateful to all the doctors and nurses at St Mark’s and Northwick Park for their fantastic care and the Ambulance Wish Foundation,” she said.

She added: “It was a brilliant day regardless of the weather.”

London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust

Laza Kekic

Northwick Park’s nursing support team with Laza Kekic

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