Dr. Alastair McAlpine spends every day caring for children with life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses, working for the non-profit organization PaedsPal.
McAlpine recently decided to ask his terminally-ill patients what they enjoyed most in life and then shared their answers on Twitter.
In a tweet, he explained: “For an assignment, I asked some of my terminal pediatric palliative care patients what they had enjoyed in life, and what gave it meaning. Kids can be so wise, y’know.”
All of these children are between the ages of four and nine years old. Even though they are young, they still managed to hit the nail on the head when it comes to what makes life worth living.
1.Nobody wishes they’d spent more time watching TV and being online
2. Animals make life better
3. They love their parents
4. They love ice cream
5. They love books and stories
6. Worrying is a waste of time.
7. Everyone loves the beach
8. Kindness matters
9. Laughter is the best medicine
10. Kids love their toys
11. Family time is the best time
Dr. McAlpine wrapped up his findings with one last important recap:
Charlotte Willson says
I just love this even though it is hard to read as the tears flow!
Linny Price says
As a pediatric home health nurse for terminally ill children, I included them in everything! Putting on lip gloss, painting their nails, dressing up and playing different characters for them, dancing, singing, drawing,playing with their pets. I packed as much fun and love into their short and fragile lives. They knew love from me 💖
Alice Ruth Leis says
GARY D BONINE says
GOD Bless You!
You are the best! Super hard job, but wow…you do it right! Thank you!
Good for you! Love the work you’re doing. xx
Kathleen Burgess says
As someone with Stage 4 Ovarian cancer who has run out of options I agree with everything on their list!!
Rosalinda Ramirez says
you are an angel!! God bless you!!
Thank you for doing this.
That is phenomenal. What an amazing career and person you are for them!
Maggie Holbik says
Really enJOYed this! As a Certified Life Coach I am often sharing with my clients the top 5 Regrets of the Dying from Bronnie Ware’s book, but this is excellent and will be another great resource for me to share with people. Thank you so much for putting this together and thank you to all of these beautiful children who shared from their hearts. Bless them.
Hi Maggie..that’s very cool. Can you share those 5 regrets here? Would love to see what they are. 💕
Tina George says
What a beautiful story . Thank you and May God bless you and these special children .
Chris Vis says
These children are so brave! My heart aches for all of them and those who will be left behind. All of what’s listed as most important applies to all children, who are our gifts for however long they are with us.
Sharon stephenson says
This touches your heart and definitely reminds us the things that are most important in LIFE!,
Thank you for sending me this. Lots of hugs and “ I love you ‘s “ and mean it and giggles and get down to their level. Children are so special. I love my 2 grand children with every fibre of my being. Xo
Lorna Shackell says
I really enjoyed reading their answers. I was very surprised with some of the honest answers. We should all try to look at things through the eyes of a child.
Kids are , so wise.. And a adult that took notice…. Awesome 👍 what a, gear story..
This was very special and really says it all. I agree with each of them.
Sarah Hudson says
Wisdom from the mouths of the little ones. So sad that they’re terminally ill. Makes me want to hug my nieces a little bit tighter tonight .
Margery Askren says
The thoughts from these children not only melted my heart but also allowed me to see into their world, as they expressed immortality with mortal words.
Susan S says
“Out of the mouth of babes “ continues to present true meanings.
Mary Baker says
A Must For All To Read!!
agnes herman says
LIFE IS SHORT, SPECIALY AT THE END, YOU HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO DO…..ASK FOR FORGIVNEES, LOVE THEM ALL, HOPE THEAY WILL LOVE YOU BACK, SO IT WILL FORFILL YOU IF YOU NEED TO, AND MAKE SHRE THE WOULD FILL YOUR ANCONDITIONALY LOVE FROM YOU, SHER ALL YOU TOUGHT, DREAM, BUT WITHOUT ANY RESERVATION ALL THE ONCONDITION LOVE YOU CAN SPER, SO THE WILL FILL FULFLED, TO KNOW THIS IS NOT GODBY,JUST SEE YOU SOON…….
agnes herman says
GOD IS GOOD, IT,S WITH YOU ALLWAYS, DONT DISAPOINTED, BE HAPPY IN YOUR LIFE, LIFE IS PRESIUS SO ENJOY EERY GIVEN TIME…….HOPE GOD WOULD BE GESIUS AND GIVE YOU HAPPYNES, A GTREAT FAMILY. TO LOVE, ENJOY CHERIS, TIME IS SHORT, i WILL LIVE YOU ALL MY GOOD MEMORIS, SO YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN…….SOME NOT SO NICE) BET THET IS LIFE…..GOOD LUCK GOD BE WITH YOU ALWAYS…..WITH MY LOVE ALWAYS AGGIE
Thank you for sharing! I’ve been a nurse for a number of years and the most rewarding for me is when I came to work as a pediatric nurse and work with a special needs child and even though she doesn’t speak Its like I can tell in her eyes when she is happy and what she wants. I heard someone once say if you love what you do then it’s not a job and I can certainly relate to that♥️
Maggie Gamble says
You are very special to look in the eyes, hearts and souls of these young ones to hear such valuable truths.
May we all heed what you shared with us in our own lives.
Wishing you Dr McAlpine continued strength to work with these patients.
Tanya Whitehurst says
This is so hard to read and has made me cry but it is a surefire way of reminding us what is actually important in life – thank you so much for sharing xx
Dr McAlpine you are a gem. Wonderful assignment to post. Too many adults dwell on the tragic aspects. Too few relate closely with the children as you did. ⭐⭐⭐
I lost my dad a week ago. What he wanted was a pizza and pinot noir party and made it happen in his hospital room 5 days before he died. He was delighted. It’s all the small things that matter. My daddy diesd a happy man, though it doesn’t make his passing any easier
It’s hard to read, but is also a lesson for us parents that have healthy children. don’t wait until something horrible happens, spend time with your children.
Fadia Dollie says
Thank you for sharing.
Out of the mouths of babes.
Proves It’s the little things in life that matters… Not money or material things.
We’ve got so much to be grateful for.
Big Thanks to Dr Mc Alpine and rest of Paedspal for your excellent work….
barbara neff says
So nice to hear these thoughts from special children. Sure is so much more worthwhile than the Political garbage, media views of today etc. So much evil around us; these are the stories we need to concentrate on. Jesus loves the little children!!! Thank you for sharing!!!
Shirley Edge Hastings says
This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I lost my oldest son to pancreatic cancer at the age of 42. I know this is much older than the children you are treating, but one day when we knew he was terminal, he said to me “I love my life.” After almost 18 years, it still hurts so much. The death of a child is something you never get over, you just learn to live with it.
Suzanne Newsom says
Yes Shirley, it does hurt so regardless of the age of your child. My oldest daughter died seven years ago from colon cancer. The grief never ends although I feel blessed to have had her with us into adulthood. This is something countless parents can’t say andI I grieve for them in their sorrow. May God bless them and you.
Nancy Markle says
Yes, I know! Thank you for your special words. 😢❤️
Janet Fryling says
We need to pay attention to what these children have said! Love shows, reading is important, laughing is good for the soul!
Jackie demers says
Cherish every new morning…..we found out yesterday that my husband is cancer FREE….after his third bout of Non Hodgkins disease……even the simple things are pleasures…..having that morning cup of coffee together, going for a walk, just sitting together…….cancer teaches up how precious each day is….share your love with those you meet……a smile can make someone’s day and doesn’t cost a thing…..and we will soon be celebrating our 63rd anniversary…..God has blessed us…..
Laura B. Gobble says
This is terrific . Thanks for sharing. Love and Kindness pays off always.
Dear Katy, welldone for spreading a little happiness. LOL
Bill Speri says
This reminds me of how my children loved seeing the snow when all I could think about was how was I going to drive to work or shovel the driveway. I missed seeing scene and the chance to have fun. This grandpa is going to hug his grand children went I see them.
Kaye Dauss says
I read this and cried. My 39 year old daughter has stage 4 esophageal cancer that has spread to her liver. Even though she is grown she is still my baby, and my heart is breaking. My heart aches for the parents of all children who are terminally ill, no matter what the age.
Tears – May God bless you and your daughter in some way…
Harriet Weinstein says
Love and chersh your children! You never know how long they will be in your life! Rest in peace to my oldest child who is with GOD, her name is Nancy Weinstein!!!!!!
Greg Devlin says
Wow! Thanks so much, Dr. McAlpine. In reality, those are some of the most important things in life to all of us.
Your work is invaluable Dr McAlpine – thank you. xx
You have shown us grandparents & parents what the priorities are that we should concentrate on whether our little ones are ill or healthy.
Best wishes for your work in the future.
There are so many ministries in life but this has to be at the top of the list. I have a Great Nephew at Riley Hospital with cancer and even though it breaks our hearts we still have great HOPE and have to stay very positive and pray diligently for this little guy!!! LIFE is certainly a JOURNEY!!!
Michelle redmond says
you are so good even do it is hard for me to read my son lost his life to neoroblastoma cancer when he was 2years and 7months and he was such a happy little fella no matter what he was going through he was such a great special little boy but I always wonder if he could explain how he feels what he would have said cause he was so young I dont think he realised what was happening which maybe was a good thing cause he didn’t no it was life threatening. but It just brought me back to been in hospital with him when I read ur answers from the kids it’s just not fair what they are going through and there is still no cure for them. xxxx good work I no what it’s like to spend all ur time in hospital and it makes a big difference when u have nice staff looking after use.
Carla Janiece Gardiner says
As grandma to eight grandkids, I so appreciate that you took time to ASK the kids the important question that we adults should have asked. Thank you for bringing to the fore what we all should do daily for those we love and care about.
Thank you for the beautiful articles, I’m a firm believer that people are basically good–sometimes it just takes patience and caring.
Distant Vision 2016 says
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William Taylor says
Not to put too fine a point on it, but a lot of those quotes sound fake.
What kid says “My Granny is so kind to me. She always makes me smile.”? Or “That magician is so silly! His pants fell down and I couldn’t stop laughing!”
In my experience, kids don’t talk like that. Those quotes sound like an adult’s idea of what a kid would say.
Which is not to say that the article doesn’t have some good advice.
Hanna Foraker says
Tears streaming………thank you for sharing these very touching comments. My heart goes out to each and every one of you.
Santa Barbara CA. February 8th 2021