Vietnam veteran Connie Willhite knew he was nearing the end of his life, cancer taking its toll, so he made two dying wishes: To be baptized and catch one last fish.
Thankfully, the folks at Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin, Georgia, were able to make those wishes come true, giving the U.S. Navy veteran some precious moments of life while undergoing hospice care.
As reported by WGXA, VA chaplain Sam Scaggs baptized Willhite and Greg Senters, a hospice social worker, took him fishing at Lake Leisure, a pond behind the VA Medical Center.
Willhite was wheeled out in his hospital bed to a pier. Senters brought the bait and tackle.
"It's called fishing, it's not called catching," Senters told WGXA. "So I told him we may not catch anything, but he said it doesn't matter. He said just being out there doing this was just as good."
But he did catch a fish, a bluegill. Actually, he wound up catching four.
[Senters] said that in those moments, Willhite wasn’t a cancer patient; he was just living life. He said he saw his face light up when he reeled in the first fish.
"All of a sudden, the cancer and everything else went away, and what you see is that precious few moments of someone really enjoying life," Senters said.
Senters said that hospice is about living, not about death, and that people that are dying can teach others a lot about life.
Later that day, Lisa Kittrill, Willhite's cousin, came to visit him.
"He talked and talked when I came in that day, and said he went fishing and got baptized, and for that I'm so glad," she told WGXA.
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