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97-year-old man realizes final wish to receive a special visitor

Santa Barbara, CA – With an extremely limited prognosis of two weeks or less to live due to a heart condition, 97-year-old Jessie Cole, a hospice patient and resident of the Evergreen Community of Johnson County (Kansas) nursing home, will experience his final wish to meet monkeys live and in person.

At 2 p.m., Thursday, July 21, representatives from Savannahland Educational Park will bring special monkey visitors to Cole’s bedside. The meet-and-greet was coordinated by Santa Barbara, California-based Dream Foundation – the first and largest national wish-granting organization for adults and their families suffering life-threatening illness.

This monkey visit comes amid catastrophic hardship for Jessie. He lost his beloved wife of 67 years only months ago. Now, his pacemaker is failing, and being that he is too frail to endure surgery to repair it, his final days are literally ticking away with each tick of the pacemaker. When it stops, so will he.

According to his hospice social worker, the monkeys will offer Cole a great deal of joy. “Jessie loves monkeys and you will often see him holding one of his plush ones,” says Amy Long, of Odyssey Hospice of Kansas, a Dream Foundation partner. “He can’t visit the zoo, so the idea came about to bring some monkeys to him, and he is thrilled!”

“Fulfilling a final dream from the heart for people like Jessie is our daily inspiration,” says Dream Foundation Founder and President, Thomas Rollerson. “We are privileged to help make something so special a reality for this sweet man.”

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