Harnett County Korean War veteran gets dying wish -- to go fishing one more time

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Saturday, February 25, 2017
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Frank Taylor, a Korean War veteran in hospice care, got his final wish -- to go fishing one last time.

APEX, North Carolina (WTVD) -- A Korean War veteran in hospice care gets his final wish granted:

To go fishing one last time.

On Friday, workers at Pruitt Health Hospice and the non-profit Second Wind Dreams took Frank Taylor out on a pontoon boat on Jordan Lake.

"His CNA asked him if he had one more last thing to do, what would it be, and he said to go fishing one more time," Karen Thompson, a hospice administrator, said.

The 87-year-old served the country in the U.S. Air Force for four years during the Korean War.

"Change planes, pick up the wounded, carry them back to North Africa where they were based," his wife, Lena Taylor, described his duties.

"I've made three trips to North Africa," Frank said.

Now, the veteran's lungs and heart are both battling each other and failing.

"He's totally bedbound," Thompson said. "He's unable to walk. His wife has to feed him and do pretty much everything for him."

Their bonds of love are stronger than ever.

"I've had three heart attacks; survived all three so I can aggravate her," Frank joked as everyone on the boat laughed.

As Lena tells it, she wasn't an easy catch -- Frank's daughter had to help reel her in.

" 'Why won't you date my, let my dad take you out to eat?' I said, 'because I don't believe in nothing he says,' " Lena recalled, as laughter again erupted on the boat.

Frank met Lena later in life. She was a widow, and her son said his love for fishing is what really won her over. He said Lena wanted his approval of Frank before getting serious, and the fishing boat he saw hitched to Frank's truck when they first met made the two best friends in 10 minutes.

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All of them share in the love story as Frank's final chapter heads for a close. He reeled in a fish, put on a line, given to them by a good Samaritan nearby, making his final wish come true.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed it," Frank said. "I've had a good life."

"And it's been a wonderful 27 years," Lena said, and leaned in to give Frank a kiss.

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