A New Jersey police officer who helped a dying 78-year-old woman get to the beach one last time said making her final wish come true was a life-changing experience. Pat Kelly, of Burlington City, New Jersey, was given three to six months to live after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in December, ABC News reported.
Kelly has since entered hospice care and her family members asked if there was anything special she would like to do before she dies. She knew immediately that she wanted a weekend trip to the Jersey Shore.
“That’s been my spot since I was a little girl,” Kelly told ABC News. “Every year we went to the ocean. And I just loved it.”
Her daughter-in-law arranged for a group of 11 women, which included Kelly’s best friends, daughters-in-law and grandchildren, to spend a recent weekend at a beach house in Ship Bottom, ABC News reported. The weekend’s itinerary included games, messages in a bottle, sing-a-longs, and a plunge into the icy ocean, according to the report.
Because Kelly has difficulty walking long distances, Kelly’s daughter-in-law, Stephanie Corbin, placed a call to the Ship Bottom Police Department to see if they could help. Officer Ron Holloway responded and volunteered to drive an SUV onto the beach so Kelly could get down to the ocean.
“He was a gentleman beyond anything,” Corbin told ABC News. “He was just so humble and kind. Anyone could’ve given us a ride, but … he was just so compassionate. He just went above and beyond.”
Kelly told a local news outlet that Holloway fit in with the group like family, and that she couldn’t have asked for anything more out of the weekend.
“Being able to take her out for this ride on the beach, it was definitely a life-moving experience,” Holloway told 6ABC. “It was a check mark in my career.”
Kelly told 6ABC she plans to have her ashes scattered on the beach.
“That’s my place,” Kelly told 6ABC. “I’ll be there forever. Just watch out — some people might step on me.”