Wife reveals husbands final moments before he died at euthanasia clinic
A grieving wife has described the heartbreaking moment her husband died at a euthanasia clinic.
Christine Thornton lay beside her partner Troy and whispered into his ear as his life ended.
The mum-of-two says it was the kind of death the couple had desperately wanted.
Troy was suffering from multiple system atrophy, an incurable and untreatable disease.
And as the fatal drugs flooded into his body he was able to hear his wife for roughly two more minutes before he died.
Office manager Christine said: “To me, that was peace of mind and I just made sure I said everything I could possibly think of to say.
“I told him how much I loved him, and how I would make sure the kids would never forget him, that they would know how special they were to him.”
Staff had been asked to touch Christine on the head when they were certain Troy was gone but when that moment arrived, she knew instinctively, reports the Daily Mail .
She said: “You can feel the difference. I felt it. He was no longer there. It was the shell.”
His body was cremated and then Christine flew home with Troy’s ashes.
She recounted her experience as the state of Victoria’s voluntary assisted dying laws came into effect on Wednesday, allowing terminally ill patients the right to request a lethal drug to end their lives.
However there will be exemptions for sufferers of conditions such as motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis who have a life expectancy of less than a year.
Those applying must be determined by multiple doctors to be suffering intolerable pain and be of sound mind.
Christine says there had been been no second guessing Troy’s decision to die.
She told AAP: “I’m not questioning myself about whether it was the right thing. I know exactly how he was feeling.
“He was scared of what was coming (from his disease), and it was coming over the hill very quickly.
“I’m at peace that I was able to fulfil Troy’s wishes. We had so many conversations about it, over so long. His whole thing was having the right to choose a good death over a bad one. To have dignity. He got that.”
Troy, a veteran firefighter, opted to die quickly, by lethal injection, rather than slowly from multiple system atrophy.
If the disease runs its course, sufferers are reduced to a vegetative state, and can often die choking on their own mucous as crucial functions like swallowing become impossible.
Christine says she and her children are grateful that Troy was able to avoid a death like that.
“They are doing okay. It’s the peace that comes with knowing their dad’s not suffering anymore.
“We had so many conversations leading up to this, we had family holidays, we spent so much time together and we were very open – always talking about it, checking in with each other to make sure we were all okay.”