Marie Mills with the last photograph taken of her and Irish friend Paddy Coughlan before she said goodbye for the last time.
Marie Mills with the last photograph taken of her and Irish friend Paddy Coughlan before she said goodbye for the last time. Jocelyn Watts

Around the world in 90 hours

SHE flew out of Hervey Bay on a Monday and was back in the Bay on the following Friday night to play bingo with her mother.

Maryborough nurse Marie Mills just couldn’t resist when terminally ill patient Patrick Coughlan announced his dying wish to return to his native Ireland.

“If I come home and I’ve made one patient happy, well that’s what counts,” is Marie Mills’ working motto every day she goes to work at Maryborough Base Hospital.

She took this approach to new extremes when she embarked on a poignant trip of a lifetime with the double leg amputee and serious cancer patient.

“He was a new man, the happiest I had seen him in two years. He didn’t want for anything apart from his wheelchair,” she said after Paddy Coughlan’s safe delivery to his nephew and sister in the west of Ireland.

Seven hours after their arrival, Marie was airborne again and bound for home.

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Marie's role in Paddy's final trip



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