Children hugging

Children's doctor reveals what terminally ill children said gives life meaning

Find out what a children's doctor took away as the meaning of life asking talking to his terminal patients

Emmy Griffiths

Children's doctor Alistair McAlpine has taken to Twitter to discuss a recent assignment in which he asked several of his terminal patients what they enjoy in life, and what gives life meaning. The heartbreaking results showed that the children value cuddling up with their pets, being told stories by their parents, and spending time with their loved ones, and didn't care about watching more TV, arguing with one another or being on Facebook. Alistair wrote: "First: NONE said they wished they'd watched more TV, NONE said they should've spent more time on Facebook, NONE said they enjoyed fighting with others, NONE enjoyed hospital. MANY mentioned their pets: 'I love Rufus, his funny bark makes me laugh.' 'I love when Ginny snuggles up to me at night and purrs', 'I was happiest riding Jake on the beach.'"

Alistair opened up about his findings

Speaking about how much the children value the kindness of others, Alistair wrote: "Almost ALL of them valued kindness above most other virtues: 'My granny is so kind to me. She always makes me smile.' 'Jonny gave me half his sandwich when I didn't eat mine. That was nice.' 'I like it when that kind nurse is here. She's gentle. And it hurts less'." He also revealed that they spoke about their friends, tweeting: "MANY wished they had spent less time worrying about what others thought of them, and valued people who just treated them 'normally'. 'My real friends didn't care when my hair fell out.' 'Jane came to visit after the surgery and didn't even notice the scar!'"

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The doctor summarised his findings by giving people advice on how to better live their lives, writing: "Take home message: Be kind. Read more books. Spend time with your family. Crack jokes. Go to the beach. Hug your dog. Tell that special person you love them. These are the things these kids wished they could've done more. The rest is details. Oh... and eat ice-cream."

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