Doctor shares the wisdom and inspiring words of his terminally ill child patients

Doctor Alastair McAlpine, part of the NGO Paedspal

Doctor shares the wisdom and inspiring words of his terminally ill child patients


Doctor shares the wisdom and inspiring words of his terminally ill child patients


Yesterday a doctor from Cape Town posted a Twitter thread about what his terminally ill young patients find most enjoyable in life.

Alastair McAlpine’s post now has 67,000 retweets and 105,000 likes as of Feb. 2,  and for good reason. It is downright humbling.

McAlpine, who works for the non-governmental organization called “Paedspal,” told All the Moms he wanted to shed positivity in what was otherwise a very dark and negative social-media feed.

He mentioned the “wisdom” he saw in his patients “who were so bravely facing death.” He said he wanted to “share some of that bravery and wisdom to make people feel inspired.”

Note: You have to see what the doctor says at the end, about how these kids have changed his life. Read ’til the end!

1st: Kids did NOT tell him they enjoyed:

  • watching TV
  • Facebook
  • fighting with others
  • the hospital

2nd: They loved their pets

Whether it was a dog’s bark, a kitty’s purr or beachin’ it up. Pets rock.

3rd: They mentioned their parents

Mostly, it was expressing a hope that their parents would be OK, should they pass. Some said they knew God would be with them.

4. They mentioned ice cream

Because duh.

5. They loved story books

Just like any other kid, they loved adventurous tails and brave characters whom they could envision themselves in.

6. They wished they hadn’t cared what others thought

Understandably, they expressed feelings of being an outsider and how it was hard.

7. They loved taking in nature

I guess it’s about enjoying the simple beautiful in life.

8. They cared about kindness, laughing, toys and superheroes

9. Family was the most important

Moral of the story:

McAlpine says to “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. … Oh and eat ice-cream.”

How the responses have changed McAlpine’s life:

Talking to All the Moms, Alastair said his experience in the field (10 years as a doctor, 6 years as a pediatrician and nine months as a palliative care physician) has “absolutely” changed his perspective on life and death.

“Death is nothing to be feared — it is simply the next step of this journey. I am convinced of this. So it’s important that the process of dying is as peaceful and dignified as possible (which is where I come in).

It also has changed my perception of life. It’s short, sometimes too short, and can change so quickly. We need to stop wasting time on things that don’t make us happy, and focus on what’s really important… like ice-cream!”

Like All the Moms?

Follow us on Facebook.



More All The Moms