Someone's last words can be the most profound and memorable thing another person might hear in their entire life.
Below are the most memorable last words doctors have heard, as told on AskReddit. Check them out! A link to the source can be found on the last page.
Not his last words, but his last dad joke:
My father's doctor: I'm afraid you'll die soon.
My father: Oh I can live with that.
The last words I ever heard my dad speak were on the phone, Thanksgiving night. As we were about to hang up he stopped me and took a really long pause before telling me he loved me. He started crying as he was saying it, apologizing for not being able to be with me on Thanksgiving (he lived far away) and he told me to hug my mother for him.
The next morning he died of a heart attack in his sleep. Sometimes I wonder if he knew he was going to die somehow.
My grandmother's last words, spoken as a nurse was checking on her and accidentally woke her up was, "GOOD GOD, YOU SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME!" She went back to sleep and never woke up. Passed about a week later.
I've been a fireman for a long time. I don't remember many last words but I remember eyes.
I'm not a doctor, but a nurse and I've worked with the elderly for quite some time now.
Most have been silent in their last moments. One old man sighed out a "Finally" and went on. He just looked so relieved to finally die.
One lady with severe dementia kinda had no idea what was going on. She was pretty out of it, and her last words were that she missed her mommy and that she hoped mom would bake bread, because she was hungry.
Another lady was absolutely terrified and I tried my best to calm her down. It's heartbreaking, you can't really do anything with their fear other than calm them as best as you can. The lady asked me "Will everything be okay?", and I told her that, yeah, everything would be fine. The kids were fine, and everything was fine, and her flowers were watered. She didn't say anything after that and passed on an hour later.
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I was a medic in the army. Did my time in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was lucky enough to never lose a patient that didn't come to me already dead. One time we got a woman and young boy hauling the husband and father to us to save him. He was beyond gone and I was so desensitized to it the injuries didn't bother me, but what freaked me out was that it didn't seem to matter to them. They were used to that life and just wanted their family member back. I told them there was nothing I could do. The mother told her son "at least this war ended for one of us" and they carried him back home. It wasn't his last words, but damn that hit me hard.
My daughter, a nurse said the ones who are ready to go are the easiest, she holds their hands and lets them know they aren't alone.
The hardest ones are the fighters, one man, in his 70's, kept saying "NO, NOPE, I'm not ready to go I have a lot of living to do still." When he died later that day, she cried, and one of the nurses said, "maybe you should rethink your career if you are going to cry."
The head nurse told her, "No honey, if there ever comes a time, you don't cry? Well that's when you need to stop being a nurse."
"Whatever you do kid, don't get old... Or married".
Coolest patient I ever had.
Trying to patch up a young guy to be medivaced, his body was torn to crap. He was fighting hard to keep going, he was gasping and asking me to teach him how to pray. Hearing that changed me as a person, I've been a lot colder since that.
I'm a nurse. It was just after breakfast. My patient was a little old lady who had been on the ward for ages but could never remember my name and always called me Matt. She had a cardiac arrest in front of me, we started CPR and defibbed her and in the only time I have ever seen this happen in a cardiac arrest she immediately regained consciousness. She looked directly at me and addressed me by my actual name and said:
"Alex, I think it was the Vegemite toast"
She then promptly vomited and lost consciousness again and we could not get her back. It is to date, one of the strangest things that has ever happened to me.
My father-in-law told us he wanted balloons at the wake so it would seem like a party. He told us "Cheers, no tears" and that's the last thing I can remember him saying. We filled the funeral home with colorful balloons.
My Dad was ill with a stomach bug (after just having an operation). I was staying with my parents for one night and he got up to get a drink of water and fell down the stairs. I picked him up and he was woozy, he wouldn't let me call an ambulance.
20 minutes later he got up to go to the toilet and collapsed, I ran to his aid and asked 'Are you okay? Are you in pain?'. His last words were 'No pain, I'm fine, no pain...'.
And the warmth of his body went cold in my hands in about 30 seconds.
I feel privileged to have been there.
Get home safe, little one." It wasnt what he said he said the same thing to me any time I had him as a patient for the evening. It was how he said it. He gave me this look and pause like he knew. The DNRs in my experience, always know when its time. Its creepy.
My Grandma, who was pretty much my mother, was diagnosed with 6 types of cancer. I was one of her main caregivers. Towards the end when things were snowballing out of control, we made peace and told her that she could go whenever she wanted.
She told me that she was holding on to meet her only great-grandchild (I was 20 weeks pregnant at the time).
Fastforward to April 15th of this year: I visited her in the hospital (to both hang out and explain medical jargon to her) with my 5 month old daughter. Grandma was "just hurting really bad" and was going to get papers filed to have a nurse visit at home 2x a day. Everything seemed completely fine other than her arm hurting so badly that she couldn't move it. She was asleep when we first came in the room, and as I was writing my "Just stopped by to visit- we love you!" note for her to find, she woke up.
We had an amazing chat like nothing was wrong. Just her complaining about my grandpa leaving her hospital TV on this history channel when he left and the food sucking. Right before we left, she gave my daughter's hand a squeeze and said "I am so glad I got to see you one last time. Make sure Grandpa takes you to the park for me. Grandma loves you both so much."
Those were the last words she ever said. She passed away in hospice care 4 days later.
My Grandpa and I never expected her to pass away so quickly. We knew she was hurting, but she hid it so well.
I am so glad she woke up when we visited. She got to see her great-granddaughter one last time.
Not a doctor, but lost my mother to cancer 3 years ago. Entire family 4 children and my dad around the bed, my dad and her decided that we should stop the drugs and let her pass as she was in too much pain. There was no last words but right before she passed after we took her off the drugs, she opened her eyes and saw her whole family around her bed, with all the love in the world, before she passed away. I know its not a statement, but knowing she got to see her family with her as her last sight lets me sleep better at night.
Heart attack patient: "I'm sorry I keep farting, I can't help it"
"I believe it's my time, thank you."
"I don't need any damn sugar."
My bosses grandpa before he died holding his black coffee.
Not a doctor, but a paramedic who has heard too many last words. And these are rarely what you see in movies, where the patient says something then peacefully and quickly dies. Lots of mine have been just before going into cardiac or respiratory arrest, or just deteriorating in general. It's long-winded and painful to watch.
"This really hurts" - a 22 year old kid who flew off his motorbike after being hit by a lorry. He went into shock afterwards and we couldn't get him back. This was back when I was a student and even though it's quite a humorous last sentence, it still kinda haunts me.
"I'm glad my wife didn't have to find my body" - an elderly gent who suffered global 3rd/4th degree burns. He had fallen asleep while making him and his wife lunch. Massive fire ensured. This one still hurts to think about.
Something I find really interesting is the sort of "phenomenon" of impending doom. The amount of patients I've had with myocardial infarction (heart attack), AAA ruptures etc whose last words - or at least one of their last sentences- have been "I think I'm going to die". When you see a patient who basically looks sweaty and pale, and they tell you they think they're going to die.. You listen. Because they probably are.
In general, people who are actively dying in the hospital tend to be fairly delirious at the very end and have received a lot of opioids to relieve the "air hunger" associated with dying. I haven't heard them speak, really.
Grandmother was suffering from cancer and was heavily on drugs to dull the pain. She had a doll that she carried with her since she was a child, escaping the Nazi then Russian occupation together. She always told me to put the doll in the coffin next to her. On that day though, my dad asked her :"what if any of your grandsons has a girl?". Just like that, a person that was completely absent due to pain, pain medication and multiple organ failure got completely lucid. And I swear, she was her old self, and said "then keep it and take good care of it!". After that, she returned to her state. I wouldn't have believed it if I wasn't there.
Nurse here: I have worked in hospice for a while. One of my patients last words were "Oh momma, I have missed you"
Nurse here. I'll never forget her. I'd been in nursing for around six months. It was near the beginning of my shift. I'd just finished introducing myself to my new group of patients. One of my patients called me and said,
"Get my daughter out of the room. It is time for me to die."
I was very confused by this at first. I had just gotten out of her room not long ago and met the patient and her daughter and we got to joke around a bit and she'd just gotten up and walked. The report I'd gotten on her gave no real indication that she was unstable. I went to go see her. The daughter was just walking out of the room and I asked what was going on. The daughter was like "She's telling me to leave and saying it's time for her to die. She's not used to being in a hospital so I'm sure she's just being hysterical." I told the daughter I would go check on her. She did not respond to me and had no pulse and we could not bring her back.
It was so sudden for everyone. The family and staff and I were not expecting this. From the small amount of time I'd met her, this woman was a real joy and it was obvious that she was loved and respected by all who knew her. Us nurses and the family all had a cry together.
I think about her last words and wonder how long she knew. She did not sound fearful. Just said it with a voice that said that she knew it was time.
I am a doctor. During my last year of residency I was taking care of a man in the ICU. He had an NG tube (nasogastric tube) in to suction out fecal matter because he had a perforation (hole) in his bowel (intestines). I was doing my rounds and stopped in to check on him. He was chatting with his brother and sister-in-law and said "here's the doc who's been taking care of me." We all exchanged pleasantries and they left telling him he should listen to me and get better soon.
I got a call shortly after that his NG tube had "come out". I went in to check on him and he was lying there and I asked him what happened. He said he had accidentally pulled it out to which I said "Come on, we gotta get you better so you can go home to your family. Remember what they told you..." and he smiled and looked at me and said "I should've listened to you...". I re-inserted the NG tube and was getting ready to head back to another patient's room.
Not even a minute later he had lost a pulse. I ran a code (end of life saving measures) to try and bring him back but I had no luck. The man drowned in his own fecal matter right in front of my eyes.
I will never forget how numb I felt that day. So much so that my attending physician (supervising doc) who was with me while I ran the code called me into his office and had a heart to heart talk with me and he assured me that I did nothing wrong and did all that I could do.
Just thinking about it makes me feel numb still.