Return to top Doctor Asks Terminally Ill Children What Matters Most In Life, Here Are Their Heartwarming Answers

Doctor Asks Terminally Ill Children What Matters Most In Life, Here Are Their Heartwarming Answers

By - 4th July 2018

The job of a palliative pediatrician cannot be an easy one. Knowing that you’re working with terminally ill children must be both exhausting and challenging to try and keep your personal emotions in order to stay both positive and professional. Dr. Alastair McAlpine knows all too well how tough it can be.

The pediatrician from South Africa wanted to try and share some positivity after seeing too many negative stories on his Twitter feed. He wanted to show that even in quite sad situations, there are kids who remain positive and inspirational.

That’s when he decided to share some inspiring thoughts and positive feelings from the terminally ill children in his care

Alastair McAlpine is from Cape Town, South Africa and he wanted to share some perspective on what’s important in life.

“I asked some of my terminal paediatric palliative care patients what they had enjoyed in life, and what gave it meaning. Kids can be so wise, y’know. Here are some of the responses.”

Dr. McAlpine told the BBC that he wanted to write something uplifting. But he was overwhelmed when he saw that hundreds of thousands of people responded to his tweet.

“It’s extraordinary. I believe in thanking people when they say something nice, but there were just too many for me to reply to all of them.”

The one thing that Dr. McAlpine found fascinating was that not a single one of the children aged between 4 and 9-years-old said they wished they’d spent more time watching television or playing video games or browsing Facebook.

A lot of the children in Alastair’s care mentioned their pets and how much they love their furry friends – not material items.

Others spoke openly about how much they love their parents. Alastair McAlpine trained in palliative care in May 2017 when he saw there were a huge gap and a need for pediatric care.

“When it came to kids dying, it seemed we weren’t prepared for what to do. The best part of my job now is that I get to meet these extraordinary children and families. I walk a special road with them,”

McAlpine continued to say “As horrible as it is when a child dies, one of the best rewards is a dignified and pain-free death. If I can make their lives slightly less bad, it’s worthwhile. That keeps me going.”

Though the subject of these tweets is quite sad knowing the children’s’ terminal conditions, it’s quite inspiring to see their outlooks on life and what’s important.

Alastair McAlpine

These children are so inspiring, even in such horrible situations, they manage to find the bright side of life. They may be going through an extremely difficult time, but that doesn’t make them any less inspirational.

The message is don’t waste your life, be kind to people, learn, get inspired and love.

Unsurprisingly, thousands of people were touched by these heartwarming tweets and people all over the world reached out to Dr. McAlpine with their own stories. Who’d have thought the words of children would speak the truth that adults forget about as they grow older. Wise words from young children; ‘out of the mouths of babes’, as they say…

A heartbreaking but heartwarming story Dr. Alastair McAlpine has shared. At Happiest we love hearing all of your opinions. So please let us know what you thought of the article in the comment section below. 🐝