North Kingstown man in hospice gets final wish granted

COVENTRY, R.I. (WLNE) – A local Vietnam veteran in hospice care had his final wish granted Monday afternoon.

65-year-old Patrick Lonergan of North Kingstown asked for just one thing, a ride in a convertible with his favorite nurses by his side.

“They said three times, is there anything we can do. I said yeah, a ride in a nice convertible with three pretty nurses,” Lonergan said.

Lonergan has been in hospice care at the Respiratory and Rehabilitation Center of Rhode Island in Coventry since March. His nurses said he has end-stage COPD, and has made a great impact on the staff in his short time there.

“Patrick is thoughtful, he cares about everybody else but himself. He has flowers delivered to the nurses’ station every week, handwrites us beautiful things,” said nurse manager Wendy Rocha.

When the nurses heard his request, they jumped at the chance to fulfill it, making calls to local dealerships. Inskip agreed, and a Bentley pulled up to the facility Monday, ready for Lonergan to jump in.

“I don’t feel deserving. It’s overwhelming to have people give up their afternoon and come and do this. It’s a pretty nice feeling,” said Lonergan.

Moving to hospice care was never in his plans, he said. 

“I just retired, I was gonna buy a van and drive down south.”

His friends convinced him otherwise, and he said he’s grateful. 

“I’m a music guy, and a song that comes to me about being here is that things could be worse for me. It goes on and on but things could be a lot worse for me. I could be in a van broke down on the side of the road somewhere!”

© WLNE-TV 2019