Monday, September 19, 2016

Cancer-stricken Vietnam war vet gets dying wishes: to get baptised and go fishing one last time

"Baptise me and let me go fishing one last time."

These were the two final wishes of former U.S. Navy serviceman Connie Willhite, a 69-year-old veteran who served during the Vietnam war and who was stricken with cancer with only days to live.

The staff at the Carl Vinson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Dublin, Georgia were only too happy to grant his dying wishes, Breitbart reports.

Willhite told the staff that he wanted to be baptised so he could "cross over" to the next life.

The hospital's chaplain had no trouble in performing the baptism ceremony in Willhite's room.

However, the fishing trip, presented some challenge to the hospital's staff. 

Willhite was stuck on his bed because of his advanced colon cancer, and could not get up to fish.

But Greg Senters, a social worker at the hospital, found a way to fulfil Willhite's second dying wish. He arranged for a mobile motorised hospital bed for the veteran so he could fish from the lake located behind the hospice unit at the VA center, KTLA reported.

"There's nothing like fishing. Even when they're not biting, it's still a good day to be outside," Willhite told KSLA moments before the fishing trip. "I know I'm dying and the cancer is going to get me, but as long as I can go, I want to fish."

He said it would be alright even if he would not be able to catch any fish.

But to his delight, he did catch a few fish.

Senters assisted Willhite in casting his fishing rod.

"I'll never forget the look on his face... Seeing Mr. Willhite achieve success in his final days was more than gratifying, it's a memory that I'll always cherish," he said. "Moments like that make me proud to be in social work and to serve veterans."

Three days after his fishing trip, Willhite died peacefully on his bed.

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