Family takes retired driver on last ride following dementia diagnosis

"I've had diesel in blood for so long that I don't think it'll ever go away from me," he said.

An 86-year-old retired truck driver took what will likely be his last ride on Wednesday as a way to celebrate his life and reflect on good times following a dementia diagnosis.

Armand Flamand was a truck driver for 40 years, but hasn’t been on the road in more than 15. Still, he says he’s never been able to let go of the trucking life. 

“I’ve had diesel in blood for so long that I don’t think it’ll ever go away from me,” Flamand said to The Daily Courier.

 “I miss everything about driving a truck.”

Recently, Flamand was diagnosed with dementia, so his family arranged a way for him to hit the road one last time. They posted on Facebook asking for help, and a local Freightliner dealership answered the call. 

“We’re going to take one of our new trucks and we’ve borrowed a trailer from one of our customers, so we can take Armand for a ride,” said Debbie Mortimer, sales manager at Premium Truck and Trailer, in West Kelowna, British Columbia. 

“I was a driver myself and so was my husband. There’s a few of us here in the building who were drivers before we came into this other side of the business, so we can appreciate Armand wanting to get out there one more time,” she said. 

“It’s good to be giving something back to the people, who are actually keeping the country going,” said service manager and truck driver Troy Thompson, who drove with Flamand on his final ride Wednesday, reported Revelstoke Review.

“Without these guys running up and down the roads and helping us out, we wouldn’t have toilet paper ever.”

“Dad rubbernecks every time he sees a well-maintained rig on the road,” Armand’s daughter Leslie said.

“This is just amazing, and it’s overwhelming. It’s a real true Christmas miracle,” she added.

Watch the clip of his final ride, here.