What a Day at Water World: A patient’s special request provides rare outing for the whole family

 In Staff

Amber Vaughn has spent several summer days with her three kids the way many parents do — cooling off at Water World. But until recently her husband, Mike, a Denver Hospice patient, was only able to share in their family outings through Snapchat or hearing stories after the fact. Through a special request to The Denver Hospice and Apex Paramedics, Mike recently got to join them at the water park to make more special memories as a family.

Mike has tumors in his pelvis that make it difficult to travel, and he’s been on bed rest to stay comfortable. His Water World trip was only his third trip out of the house since February.

The Vaughns’ three kids enjoyed their favorite rides and slides at the park — and the oldest got to show off her daring spirit on The Peaks, Water World’s six-story-tall water slide. The highlight for Amber, though, was being able to share the experience with Mike. She said the brightest parts of the day for her involved simply being with her husband outside, talking with him out of their house and showing him what their children had been doing all summer. 

“It was something nice that the kids could look forward to and he could look forward to and they could have a special memory with him,” she said.

Apex paramedics helped Mike stay comfortable and picked him up in an ambulance decorated with a beach theme for his special day. The Apex team got the Vaughn family drinks, snacks and pool floats and made sure Mike had a clear path to the best spots.

Apex paramedics said opportunities to help fulfill a terminally ill person’s wish are good for the patient as well as for the employees who spend much of their time responding to emergencies. 

Amber said she was grateful to have a relaxing few hours out of the house with Mike. “For me, it was nice seeing him outside and sharing that experience. It’s different seeing videos of the kids and being there in person.”

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