Kelly Taylor

I am a 32-year-old woman. I live in Bristol with my husband Richard and I am suffering from a life-threatening heart and lung problem called Eisenmenger’s syndrome. My health has been getting steadily worse since I was seven years old.

I was taken off the transplant list years ago – my body is far too weak to survive such a complex operation. I need oxygen all the time and I am severely physically limited, almost totally confined to a wheelchair. My health is getting worse and worse, and my consultant has told me I do not have long to live.

I love my husband and my family very much and I am still trying to do as much as possible – I am studying part-time at college for an English literature A level. But my health just keeps deteriorating. I have to sleep for about 18 hours a day but I have terrible nightmares as a side effect of my medication. I have bed sores and suffer from breathlessness. I am in constant pain and I feel I am denied almost every pleasure by my illness. I want my suffering to end.

I do not want to travel to a foreign country to end my life. I want to die at home. If I went abroad to die I would do so knowing that my wonderful husband Richard, who would go with me, could face prosecution on his return to the UK, and I could not allow that to happen. I admire the people who make such a journey, but really, it should not be necessary.

I have been working since 2005 to try to change the law on assisted dying – I strongly support any law that enables doctors to help patients to die if they request this. I truly believe that the law will change but not in time for me. My personal campaign is to fight for assisted dying while I live but I may have a limited choice, and may have to ask to be sedated permanently. My doctors are not sure if they can legally do this, so I am mounting a legal case to allow a doctor to do this for me.

I am hoping that once I am sedated the terms of my living will will come into effect. This states that I would not wish to receive artificial food or fluids, and would mean that I could die.

We are sad to have to inform you that Kelly passed away in February 2012. She was a powerful advocate of greater patient choice at the end of life and will be sadly missed.

 

Links:

Read more about Kelly’s story in The Guardian

On BBC News

In The Mail Online

In Memory of Kelly Taylor – Dignity in Dying blog

The accounts made in the personal stories section of the Dignity in Dying website reflect the views of the authors. The views of Dignity in Dying may differ

 

Contact us

Should you want to contact any of the people featured in these pages, or wish to share your own story with us, please contact Jo Cartwright:

020 7479 7737 or 07725 433 025

jo.cartwright@dignityindying.org.uk