QEII Foundation donors granting wishes to patients nearing end-of-life

ICU team

One of the QEII's ICU teams.

Since May 2018, QEII Foundation donors have played a role in granting more than 300 wishes to over 100 patients at the QEII Health Sciences Centre through the 3 Wishes Project. 

The goal of the 3 Wishes Project is to improve the end-of-life experience for patients and their families in the QEII’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Most wish requests are small and simple, but many have inspired heathcare teams to rise above and beyond the medical support of a patient. 

Whether it’s a physician who drove to the grocery store at 2 a.m. so that a patient could have their favourite doughnut one last time, or a staff member who digitally recorded a patient’s heartbeat and had it placed in a teddy bear so that their children would grow up with a memento of their parent, the 3 Wishes Project is an example of the compassion that’s shown by QEII healthcare teams every day.

Traditionally, healthcare professionals have been taught to “not get too close” to patients and their families says Dr. Sarah McMullen, a physician in the QEII’s department of Critical Care.

But projects like 3 Wishes are challenging that approach, and the impact for both patients, families and hospital staff has been incredibly positive.

“For staff, it’s a difficult and big change when you’ve spent the last few days trying to make someone better and then to change that conversation to focusing on how to make the dying process an important and meaningful experience for the family,” says Dr. Jennifer Hancock, an ICU physician at the QEII.

The 3 Wishes Project is entirely funded by the QEII Foundation and community donations, including the ICU team’s own fundraising efforts. To date, granted wishes have included things like visits from family pets, religious ceremonies, a wedding, tea parties and family gatherings.

The 3 Wishes Project represents a timely transition in how patient care is approached and healthcare teams at the QEII are proud to offer it to patients and their families. To make a gift to the 3 Wishes Project, click here to visit our donation page and identify the 3 Wishes Project as your designated area.