Nursing home patients home for the holidays

Nursing home patients home for the holidays thanks to free ambulance rides

Eddie McMurray enjoys time with his family on Christmas thanks to Rural Metro Eddie McMurray enjoys time with his family on Christmas thanks to Rural Metro

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Sometimes the best gifts aren't wrapped under the tree. That was the case for the McMurray family in North Knoxville, who say the greatest gift on this Christmas day was sharing celebrations with a loved one currently living at an area nursing home. Rural Metro ambulances gave free rides to patients on Wednesday.

This is not an ordinary ride in an ambulance, and it's not a rushing to an emergency type of scenario. On Wednesday, it was about taking Eddie McMurray home from Beverly Park Place Health and Rehab to North Knoxville for the holidays.

"It's a gift. I've been in the nursing home eight years," he said.

McMurray has multiple sclerosis and traveling can be painful. For the full house setting with family, being able to have him there was simply a blessing.

"I would rather have that than any gift they bought," said his mother Pat McMurray.

McMurray says that's because you just can't put a price tag on quality time.

"For us all to be together all day and just enjoy each other, kids and all," she added.

What better way to celebrate than by looking at pictures and sharing memories? The McMurray family says Christmas has always been a favorite time of the year for them.

"Just the things that he used to do that he's not able to do now, it's sad, but him being here is exciting," said McMurray's daughter, Emily Williams.

For the guest of honor, it's all about being able to see the smiles on his grandchildren's faces. "That is the best part," said McMurray.

The ride home is free, and this was actually the second time this year McMurray has been able to come home. Rural Metro gave him a ride to celebrate Thanksgiving in November.

Emergency crews tell us they've been providing this service for years, and it's a tradition they look forward to as well.

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