San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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CTMC Hospice Center patient Bill Carroll, 83, had a “last wish” fulfilled through the center’s Dream a Dream program. Carroll flew in a hot air balloon over San Marcos after 13 weather-related postponements. It took a long time to get Carroll up in the air but the look on his face shows it was worth the wait. COURTESY PHOTO


After 13 cancellations due to weather conditions, 83-year-old Central Texas Medical Center Hospice Care patient Bill Carroll finally got his wish granted last Friday. Through the hospice’s “Dream a Dream” program, Carroll flew in a hot air balloon.

Abby Hurst, CTMC Hospice’s community service liaison, who joined Hurst on his adventure, said Carroll was incredibly happy up in the air during the 45-minute flight. Pilot David Smuck with Austin Aeronauts took Carroll and Hurst from the fire station clock tower on Interstate 35 and crossed the San Marcos River three times.

“He loved the feeling of flying free, no engines, or motors, and letting the wind take us in the direction it wanted,” Hurst said on behalf of Carroll.

Dream a Dream provides assistance to patients in fulfilling a last wish. The program is funded by the annual Hats Off for Hospice fundraiser, scheduled this year for April 15.

“Our patients’ dreams would not be possible without our generous supporters of Hats Off,” Hurst said.

The eighth annual Hats Off for Hospice fundraiser is scheduled from 2 to 6 p.m. April 15 at the Gregg-Clarke Park in Kyle. Visit for more information.

This story originally was published in the Hays Free Press. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Free Press and the San Marcos Mercury.

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