Brittany Maynard, 29, Has Died
I have been following the Brittany Maynard story for the past month. This story has been very personal to me for many reasons. First, she and I were the same age, and I suffer from a traumatic brain injury, and I have seizures, mine from an explosion in Iraq. Maynard, 29, suffered from stage IV glioblastoma multiform, an aggressive form of brain cancer. She was originally given 10-years to live this past January, but was then told in April she had 6-months to live.
Maynard compiled a bucket-list, and this past week she fulfilled her last task, the Grand Canyon. Maynard originally decided that she would end her life on November 1st. Maynard, who was originally from California, fought for die with dignity laws in her state, and in a federal level, but decided to move to Oregon, one of the five states to have physician assisted suicide laws.
Originally, Maynard decided to end her life yesterday, but she released this statement:
“I still feel good enough and I still have enough joy and I still laugh and smile with my family and friends enough that it doesn’t seem like the right time right now,” she earlier this week. “But it will come, because I feel myself getting sicker. It’s happening each week.”
However, Maynard just posted this message to her Facebook account:
“Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love. Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me … but would have taken so much more. The world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers. I even have a ring of support around my bed as I type. … Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!”
She was surrounded by her mother, step-father, best-friend, and her beloved husband. She was 29. She said her greatest regret was that she had no children. The medication she took, Secobarital, caused her to fall in a deep sleep before she passed. Her death was painless.
After her death, her foundation, Choices and Compassion, released the following statement:
"As symptoms grew more severe she chose to abbreviate the dying process by taking the aid-in-dying medication she had received months ago. This choice is authorized under the Oregon Death With Dignity Act. She died as she intended – peacefully in her bedroom, in the arms of her loved ones."