Three wishes

St. Joseph’s Hospital and McMaster University have joined forces to grant 3 wishes and study the effect they had on the family’s grieving process.

Lead researcher, Deborah Cook knew they couldn’t send these patients on trips or help them bungee jump, but she and her team wanted to see how simple gestures changed their final days.

Bill Morrell died in April after 4 days in the intensive care unit, though not before a few final wishes were granted through “the 3 wishes project.” Melanie and her family wished for her father to be kept on life support until relatives from Australia could say goodbye. They wished for a private room in the hospital to gather in and for one final photo together.

The project is part compassionate care, part research study. After patients die their families are interviewed about how it helped personalize their final moments. “Family members overall were very appreciative of the project and of all the care and all the things that had been done for them.”