A HOSPICE patient has fulfilled his final wish to go birdwatching one last time with help from his friends in the RAF.

Mick Carroll, from Pickering, had already been guest of honour at his own wake at St Catherine’s when he came up with the idea of enjoying a day out in the countryside, visiting the conservation area he helped to create.

Friends from RAF Fylingdales turned up in two Land Rovers to take him on a ride through the forest. They were joined by people from several other conservation groups to give him a day in the countryside he has loved all his life.

Mick, a former member of the Royal Air Force Regiment, was first approached years ago when the “golf balls” of Fylingdales were demolished and asked to work with others to turn it into a conservation area.

“It took over my life,” he said. “We put up nesting boxes, helped to dig ponds, it became a lovely place for wildlife.”

But last year Mick was on an RAF ornithological expedition in Spain when he developed severe pain in his back. He was diagnosed with cancer on Christmas Eve.

Mick battled the illness, but when he realised how ill he had become, he told his wife Helene of his final wishes.

Helene said: “He told me ‘I want a wake and I want to be there, I said, ‘Why not?’”

St Catherine’s helped them plan the event and the family chose to fund the cost of hospice caterers providing food for their guests.

The wake drew more than 100 people from all over the country to the hospice on Mick’s 68th birthday.

He said: “It was great to see everyone. We had a lovely time."

Helene thanked St Catherine’s for making his final wishes come true.

“The hospice is marvellous, everyone has been so kind,” she said. “Mick has been really brave and is living every moment he’s got.”

Dr Carina Saxby, consultant in palliative medicine at St Catherine’s, said that they had been privileged to help Mick fulfil his wishes.

“Hospice care is all about helping people to live until they die. We are really pleased that we have been able to support Mick and his family achieve these important personal wishes,” she said.