MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - A Macon woman dying of COPD had one request at the end of her life...a wish some people might call miniscule.
Deborah Monroe has less than 6 months to live, and instead of going abroad or to Disney...she decided she wanted to eat at Olive Garden. She'd seen the commercials but couldn't ever afford it.
Tuesday, her friends made that dream come true, and made her queen for a day.
It was a collaboration between the Dream Foundation, a national wish-granting organization for adults and their families suffering from life-threatening illnesses, and Evercare Hospice and Palliative Care.
A stretch limousine pulled up to her home, Macy Retirement Center. That was a big surprise. She emerged from her room with a tiara on her head, and her driver opened her door for her.
"Look what they did for me!," she exclaimed. "Praise God!"
The 61-year-old had never ridden in a limo before. As it pulled up to the restaurant on Bloomfield Road, her driver rolled out a literal red carpet for her. She was Queen for the day. She got into her wheelchair and rolled into the restaurant. "Thank you, thank you.." she kept repeating.
"She's got a very sad life story, and that's what compelled me to make this dream for her," says Jada Elliott, her Evercare social worker. Jada has worked with Deborah for a year. She told her today she feels Deborah has helped her grow up.
"She's lost a lot of contact with her family, she's had some bouts in a lot of bad parts in her life," says Elliott. "So the very simple things we take for granted are awesome for her."
Deborah ordered the works--Spinach dip as an appetizer, steak gorgonzola alfredo, and a Coke with the little ice pellets. She also had to top it off with a margarita. As she savored the steak gorgonzola, the cook stood by, asking if everything was to her liking. After a few seconds, she said "Thank you. You all right, baby!" She kissed the cook on the cheek.
Her friends were there--people who had helped her at the retirement center during her health struggles. All watched lovingly as she savored the meal--a meal that seems so simple to so many, but was a dream come true for Deborah.
"Ain't nothin' no better than sittin' down and having a good meal with people that you love," she exclaimed.
The limousine Deborah arrived in took her to her new home in Eatonton, where she'll be closer to her church family, and where she says she's gonna get back together with her boyfriend.