"It was the tiniest gesture but it meant the world," his wife said, sharing one last special moment with her husband after he tried to fight cancer for months.
From the moment someone is told that they are dying, they are forced to cope with the idea that they won't be able to watch their beautiful children grow up, not have the chance to grow old together with the one they love, and not do the little things like walking along the beach with their child's hand wrapped around the finger.
Chris Shaw knew that he was going to die soon. After months of an aggressive battle with stomach cancer, there was no hope left for the father of four. Devastated by the news, but being accepting of what lay ahead, Shaw wanted to spend his last few days with his wife and children, in the comfort of their home. The paramedics were driving him and his wife, Kylie back so they could be with their family.
To give her husband one last experience at one of his favorite places, Kylie Shaw asked the officers, Jade McGlew and Jesse Roulston, if they could take a short detour. It was to their favorite beach, where the couple and their four children spent their summers together.
"Jade and Jesse were the 2 Ambulance officers that did that very selfless act of allowing Chris to see Burns Beach one last time when we broke out of hospital after a month," Kylie wrote on Facebook. The patience and kindness of the paramedics allowed the ailing 45-year-old father to "feel the sun and breeze on his body" and "feel normal at his favorite beach for 20 minutes".
The officers were glad they could do their bit. Jesse said, "Just seeing those two together.. it does pull on your heart strings," according to Perth Now.
"I don't think there would have been a chance for them to go down to that beach again," Jesse recalled, according to 9now. "When we picked him up, they were just full of smiles, even though it was not exactly the best day. When we got to the beach, they absolutely enjoyed themselves. It was quite emotional."
Nobody could miss the happiness that Chris felt, as Jade said, "We observed him just in utter bliss, enjoying the sunshine. It was just a beautiful day, beautiful conditions for it to happen."
It was the very same beach that Chris and Kylie had shared a number of special moments with their four children, watching the sun sink into the ocean in the evening.
"We're an ocean family and this is our favourite beach. It was the tiniest gesture but it meant the world," Kylie told The West Australian, as reported by Mail Online. "We spent so many family moments at that beach. We'd sit down and have a Corona, the kids would run around and we'd watch the sun set."
Knowing that you're living out your final moments can make your day all about the 'lasts', like the last time you will feel the beach breeze blowing through your hair. For Chris, who passed away at the age of 45, Jade and Jesse were "angels" who gave him something that money could never buy.
"The tiniest gesture.. tiniest gesture.. it's not financial.. it's not monetary.. it's not anything in your hand.. it was just one quick question and out in the fresh air for twenty minutes," Kylie said. "They were our angels.. for the day.. they really did become our angels.. and for that we'll be eternally grateful. Seeing the ocean.. feeling the sun.. the breeze.. endless..you would be able to feel.. .. nothing would ever be able to replace that.. ever."
On August 31, 2018, Chris passed away, and Kylie still remembers the kind gesture of the two paramedics.
"That particular day will stay very close to us, especially in my heart, forever," Kylie said.
She wrote on Facebook, "1 year ago today, heaven gained the most amazing Angel."
Not having her husband around has been tough to get used to for her and her young children.
"I still wake thinking you’re going to walk through that door and surprise us. It really is so surreal, what has happened, has actually happened," she wrote. "Every night, the kids go to bed with their 'daddy teddy' (a gift from the families in the twins classroom last year and Chris was able to record a personal message for each of the kids), they listen to his voice every night and without fail, I get 'mummy, I miss daddy so much, is he here' and I say 'me too babes and yes, darling, he’s with you every single second of the day'."