Dying man granted his final wish
A dying man had his wish of a day at the races fulfilled at Morphettville’s racing track in Adelaide.
Paramedics were taking Nigel Latham home from hospital to enter palliative home care when they had a simple question for him.
“They asked me if I’d like to stop anywhere on the way,” Nigel said.
“I had been watching the racing in hospital, so wanted to go there.”
Ambulance officer Bec Sanders and colleague Laura granted the 58-year-old’s request.
“In normal circumstances I would've been there for a great day of racing,” Nigel said.
“I’ve been a member of the South Australian Jockey Club for the last three years and own shares in a couple of horses.
“Bec and Laura worked miracles and got me there. They are commended for their care and sheer goodness of their spirit.”
Nigel got to watch the action from the 200m mark with his wife Julie, and became the inspiration for a Melbourne Cup-winning jockey.
After learning of Nigel’s dying wish, Craig Williams was overcome with emotion and rode Lady Dunmore to victory.
“Nigel Latham, he was the inspiration for her success today,” Williams said.
After his victory, Williams rode over to Nigel and gifted him a souvenir.
“To Nigel, I said to my horse if she’d get over the line we’d make sure we give him the winning goggles and she did her job really well.
“We’d like to be grateful to people like Nigel who support the industry and have his last dying wish (of) coming here today for a great race day.”
Another thoughtful racegoer named Matt also joined in on the good spirit, offering him an ice-cold beer.
Nigel said the day had become one of the most memorable experiences of his life, especially with his wife by his side.
“People are amazing,” he said.
Given only days to live, Nigel Latham had a wish to go to the races one last time in Adelaide. The hospital and ambulance drivers made it happen.
Hear Bensley read his emotional message of thanks after his day at the Morphettville track on Saturday.
— SENTrack (@SEN_track) May 3, 2021
“I’ve had brilliant care at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. They have all tried so hard for me and then getting me to the races yesterday meant so much.”
He praised the kindness of the paramedics, saying, “Thanks to Bec and Laura for making it happen, to Ian (Richardo, Morphettville track manager) for facilitating it. For Matt for the beer and for Craig for caring so much.”
Bec said Nigel was exhausted but told 7NEWS “it was really lovely to see him home and happy.”
Image credit: 7NEWS