Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Nurse makes sure cancer patient gets his final wish: to fly in an airplane

As a kid, Joe Booth used to enjoy building model planes, but he says he "just never got the chance" to actually fly in one.

Booth has prostate cancer, and when his doctors told him in February he should discontinue taking his medication, he started thinking of things he wanted to do before it was too late — and that included flying in an airplane for the first time. The 69-year-old New Albany, Indiana, resident told his oncology nurse at Norton Hospital, Tracey Hoffman, about his wish, and she knew she wanted to make it happen. "He has a lot of pain, but he doesn't complain about it," she told the Louisville Courier Journal. "He's trying to make the most of the time he has left. That's something we should all do."

More than 25 pilots volunteered to fly Booth over Louisville and southern Indiana, and when the day arrived for Booth to take flight, he was excited but apprehensive. "I'm getting one wish granted, but I'm hoping for a parachute, too," he joked. Not only did Booth get to be a passenger, but he was also briefly the pilot. "It was priceless," his son, Brian Booth, told the Courier Journal. "He has never done anything like that. He actually took the steering wheel and flew for a bit." Booth said he was so appreciative of Hoffman and his doctor, Arash Rezazadeh, for helping him see the world from a new angle. "It was an experience," he said. "It's a different world all together up there."