A bed-bound gran’s dream comes true as she is wheeled around M&S to go shopping with her daughters.
Terminally ill Lorette Fussell, 90, was taken to the store by charity volunteers in a specially adapted ambulance.
The 90-year-old great-grandmother feared her simple wish might never come true because she has been bed-bound for a year with terminal ancer.
But this week, thanks to a wonderful charity collaboration, it did.
Still tucked up in bed, she was wheeled around the shops by volunteers from Ambulance Wish Foundation UK and the United Synagogue.
She said: “I haven’t been able to get out for ages and I really missed my shopping trips with my daughters.
“So to see the Christmas decorations, do some shopping and have a meal like we used to is just wonderful.”
Lorette picked out a festive jumper then she and daughters Helen, 54, Jane, 58, and Annette, 61, were treated to dinner in the cafe of the M&S store at the Cribbs Causeway mall in Bristol.
“I just can’t believe this,” said Lorette, her eyes filling with tears.
Helen said: “Mum was so happy to have her day at the shops. It meant so much to be able to share that with her.
“Going to the shops and having lunch in M&S was one of her favourite things – so to do that again was very special.
"M&S were wonderful. They cordoned off an area for us to have lunch, gave us vouchers and flowers for Mum.
"But the volunteers were incredible. They’d come all the way from London to help Mum fulfil her wish.”
The United Synagogue, an umbrella group for Jewish communities in England, teamed up with Ambulance Wish Foundation UK this year.
"Together they have been fulfilling the wishes of terminally ill people of all ages.
Some 40 United Synagogue volunteers are trained in first aid and escort the patients in adapted ambulances on the outing of their choice. Lorette’s family were told of the scheme by Macmillan cancer support nurses who have been caring for her at home in Downend, Bristol.
Lorette’s family were told about the scheme by Macmillan cancer support nurses who’ve been caring for her at home in Downend, Bristol
The mum of seven – who has 15 children and 10 great-grandchildren – was born in Belgium but escaped to England with her parents during the war.
She worked as a school cook and married husband Robert, who worked at the Rolls Royce factory.
Lorette’s husband Robert died 15 years ago as she recovered from breast cancer surgery.
The cancer returned in 2017 and last year she was told it was terminal.
Helen said: “She wants to make the most of every day.”
One volunteer, retired GP Alan Ferris, 60, from Potters Bar, Herts, said: “It’s very rewarding to help people with these simple, but often logistically difficult wishes.”
Richard Verber of The US said: “It’s humbling to be involved with such a project at a time when society has become more polarised.”
AWFUK spokesman, Saul Gaunt, 26, said: “With the help of the US volunteers we’ve had the privilege of fulfilling the last wishes of some wonderful people.
“We took a lady to her daughter’s wedding, another person to their child’s first day at university and a 21 year old to her favourite restaurant for a meal with friends before Another chap simply wanted to go to the pub to have a drink with his mates.
“And I’ll never forget the lady in her 30s who wanted to get home again to bake some cookies with her kids - ‘just to be a normal Mum again.’ We managed to help her do that. No wish is too small.”
Saul, a paramedic added: “The volunteers find it moving and truly rewarding.”
United Synagogue spokesman Richard Verber said: “Our volunteers are just extraordinary people.
“They will travel the length and breadth of the country to help people they don’t know.
“There can be few things better to do with your time than to help fulfil the final wish of someone terminally ill.
“It is particularly humbling to be involved with such a project at a time when society has become ever more polarised.