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Racing Fan with Just 'Days to Live' Granted Dying Wish to Watch Horse Race Trackside

Not everyone gets the chance to reflect on their life as it comes to an end and have one final wish granted, but one man in Australia recently had the opportunity to make and enjoy one last request.

Nigel Latham, 58, had been in the Royal Adelaide Hospital for some time, but had gotten to a stage where he was headed home for hospice care.

The two paramedics who were set to move Latham, named Bec Sanders and Laura, inquired whether or not there was anywhere that Latham would like to visit on his final journey.

And there was: Latham longed for one last horse race at the Morphettville racecourse.

“They asked me if I’d like to stop off anywhere on the way,” Nigel told 7News. “I had been watching the racing in hospital, so wanted to go there.”

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Racing was no new interest for Latham, who said he’d been a member of the South Australian Jockey Club for years and even owned shares in several racehorses.

“In normal circumstances I would’ve been there for a great day of racing,” he explained.

His visit was arranged so he could be wheeled right up to the fence at the 200m mark, where he’d get an unparalleled view of the action.

Award-winning jockey Craig Williams, who was racing that day, had plans to recognize Latham but ended up being able to present him with an even more amazing gift when he won.

“Nigel Latham he was the inspiration for her success today,” Williams said during an interview with Racing.com.

“Unfortunately Nigel … Nigel’s here, he hasn’t … he’s only got maybe days to live as I’ve been reported on. He’s come here with the ambulance people at the 200m mark all day, to do some … his last dying wish was to come to the races.

“So to Nigel Latham, I said to my, my horse if she’d get over the line, we’d make sure we give him the winning goggles and she did her job really well.

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“So it was his inspiration and we’d like to be grateful to people like Nigel who support this industry and have his last dying wish is coming here today for a great race day.”

Latham was able to enjoy his spot with his wife by his side, but the goggles weren’t the only boon he received — a random attendee saw him, and offered him a cold beer, from one spectator and enthusiast to another, according to 7News.

All the little acts of kindness lifted Latham’s spirits, and his wife later said that he’d been on a high and that “[i]t was really lovely to see him home and happy.”

“Bec and Laura worked miracles and got me there,” Latham said. “They are commended for their care and sheer goodness of spirit.”

“Thanks to Bec and Laura for making it happen, to Ian [Ricardo, Morphettville track manager] for facilitating it,” he added in another interview. “For Matt for the beer and for Craig for caring so much.

“It was a brilliant, memorable experience with my wife by my side.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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