Making dreams come true

Aideen Carroll doesn't need long to think of a story that shows courage.

Aideen works in University Health Network's psychiatric emergency service unit. Some time ago, Aideen's patient wanted to visit the CNE, a popular summer attraction in Toronto. The patient had fond memories of going there as a child -- and wanted to experience the place she'd enjoyed so much as a kid.

Her dream wasn't overly complex. She wanted to ride the ferris wheel and eat candy floss. But her care team knew that for a sick patient, even such seemingly simple request was incredibly risky. What if she fell while she was there? What if she died?

In spite of these initial concerns, the health care team took the courageous step of fulfilling the patient's wish. The woman had an incredible day. It was also the last time she'd experience the spectacle - she passed away after that summer.

For the care team at Toronto General Hospital, it was a valuable lesson. Ever since the woman's passing, each summer, they're sure to take their patients to the same attraction.

Aideen Carroll is an Advanced Practice Nurse in UHN's Psychiatric Emergency Service Unit