Where there's a will -- and the help of a caring community -- there's a way.
When Eric Morton Sr. learned that his terminally ill wife Kim Eyler wanted to visit the Ocean City beach one last time, he contacted the Ocean Pines Fire Department. They, in turn, got in touch with the Ocean City Beach Patrol. And together, the dedicated community servants made it happen.
The entire plan for the October 13 beach visit was kept a surprise for Eyler, a 48-year-old Ocean Pines resident, who was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer a few months ago. Since she is currently in hospice care, the assistance of the local civic servants was needed to provide transportation and equipment.
“The Ocean Pines Fire Department gave me the time they’d be here, and they were right on time," Morton explained to OC Today. "The fire chief walks in and introduces himself to Kim and they took her in the ambulance, and [drove] her to 130th Street. They put her in a handicap wheelchair, wheeled her out and put her in a beach chair."
Courtesy of Eric Morton Sr.
The fire department then stayed on site in the parking lot so that Eyler and her friends and family could stay on the beach as long as they desired.
"‘Take however long you want to take,'" the Ocean Pines fire chief Steve Grunewald told Eyler and Morton. "'One hour, two hours, three ... just call me when you’re ready.’"
Eyler and her loved ones stayed a full hour and a half. They shared memories, enjoyed nature, and released balloons.
The beach visit was touching -- not only for Eyler, Morton, and their loved ones -- but for the members of the fire department and beach patrol who made it happen as well.
"It was very emotional," Morton said.
What do you think? We at OCN send our kudos to all who were involved in making Eyler's dream such a beautiful reality. What a way for the Ocean City community to come together! Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.