3 Wishes Project in the Medical Intensive Care Unit

The 3 Wishes Project began in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in December 2017. Patients in the ICU face critical illness and sometimes, difficult end-of-life decisions. The goal of the 3 Wishes Project is to provide the best possible end of life experience for patients and families by celebrating lives and supporting the grieving process.

The project has fulfilled a variety of wishes for ICU patients. Patients have asked to hear a cherished piece of music, to spend their final moments outdoors, to visit with a beloved friend or pet, to taste a favorite food or drink, and to have their room decorated with their favorite photos, to name a few.

We honor our patients' wishes to the best of our ability to meet the following goals:
  • For patients, to dignify their death and celebrate their life
  • For family members, to humanize the end-of-life process and create positive memories
  • For ICU clinicians, to foster patient and family-centered care and inspire more meaning in the workplace

Your gift to the 3 Wishes Project, no matter the size, can help fulfill the often simple and inexpensive wishes of critically ill patients in the ICU. Your contribution offers comfort and peace to patients and grieving families. At the end of life, it's really the small things that matter. The average cost per patient has thus far been just $30. The effect this program has on patients and their loved ones, however, is truly priceless.

The 3 Wishes Project was first introduced in Canada in 2013. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is the first hospital in the U.S. to adopt the program. Drs. Thanh Neville and Peter Phung launched the 3 Wishes Project and hope to see it grow to benefit even more patients. Since its inception in December 2017, the project has granted the wishes of more than 40 people.

3 Wishes was originally funded by a grant from the CSU Institute for Palliative Care and has gained the ability to continue its mission through generous donations from families and individuals. Donations ensure that we have the resources to create meaningful, dignified memories for patients and their families during otherwise difficult times. Thank you in advance for your kindness, generosity, and for helping the 3 Wishes Project honor patients' lives and create positive memories for their loved ones.

3 Wishes has already expanded to include the Solid Oncology Unit and the Intensive Care Unit at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica.  The project hopes to expand to other units in our hospitals to bring comfort to even more of our patients and families in their time of greatest need.

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