Brave 23-year-old with terminal illness ‘died peacefully’, her family confirms, after she used new assisted suicide laws to end her life
- Lily Thai, 23, passed away on Wednesday
- The terminally ill woman chose to end her life
- Used new South Australian assisted dying laws
The family of 23-year-old Lily Thai confirmed her death after the terminally ill young woman used assisted suicide laws to end her life.
In an obituary in the Adelaide Advertiser, her family announced that the young South Australian had “passed away peacefully” last Wednesday, June 21, at Laurel Hospice at Flinders Medical Center.
“Dearly beloved daughter of Kate and Le,” the message read.
“Beloved granddaughter, niece and nephew.
A dear friend to many.
“You may have disappeared from our sight, but you have never disappeared from our hearts.”
The family of 23-year-old Lily Thai (above) confirmed her death after the terminally ill young woman used assisted suicide laws to end her life
In an obituary (above), her family announced that young South Australia had ‘passed away peacefully’ last Wednesday, June 21, at Laurel Hospice at Flinders Medical Center.
Lily was the daughter of the high-flying culinary couple Le Tu Thai and Kate Sparrow.
Mr Thai is a Vietnamese refugee who became one of Adelaide’s most respected chefs.
He and his partner Kate rose to prominence through their Nediz Tu restaurant before Mr Thai later took over the kitchen at the town’s famous Bridgewater Mill restaurant.
Their daughter had been in “excruciating” pain from a rare condition known as autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy (AAG) – in which a person’s body attacks its own nervous system.
Since the age of 17, Lily’s debilitating illnesses had affected her quality of life, leaving her bedridden and unable to move.
She received palliative care at Laurel Hospice in the weeks before her death.
Lily hadn’t been well enough to go out in her last days and would instead stay in her bed while being comforted by her friends and family.
Since the age of 17, Lily’s debilitating illnesses had affected her quality of life, leaving her bedridden and unable to move
One person who had been by Lily’s side was her close friend and paramedic Danika Pederzolli, 28.
Ms. Pederzolli recently took Lily to the beach, with a heartwarming photo showing the pair in the back of an open ambulance enjoying the view of the ocean and some McDonald’s fries.
Ms. Pederzolli, who met Lily through a St. John’s Ambulance cadet program, said she would remember her good friend as having a “vibrant attitude, positive and warm presence.”
“She’s such a positive and warm presence in your life and (such a) smart person,” she told the publication.
“She was just so happy, and she still is now, she’s no different.”
She described Lily as “sunshine in human form” and wrote her a heartfelt note which she presented to her along with a teddy bear.
Paramedic Danika Pederzolli recently took Lily to the beach, with a heartwarming photo showing the pair sitting in the back of an open ambulance enjoying the view of the ocean and some McDonald’s fries
Lily also shared a friendship with fellow AAG patient Annaliese Holland, 23.
Wanting to raise awareness about the rare disease, the pair shared their stories in hopes it would lead to earlier diagnosis of symptoms in other AAG patients.
Lily said her experience talking about AAG has been incredible, with several people reaching out to show their support.
“A lot of people (who) I haven’t talked to in a long time (reached out), which was absolutely beautiful,” she said.
The drug used to end Lily’s life under new assisted dying laws in South Australia was administered using an IV that left the 23-year-old dead within 10 seconds.
Lily (right) also shared a friendship with fellow AAG patient Annaliese Hollan (right) with the pair sharing stories about the disease in hopes of spreading awareness
What is Autoimmune Autonomic Ganglionopathy?
Autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy (AAG) is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your autonomic nervous system.
The autonomic nervous system is part of your peripheral nervous system. It controls specific involuntary body processes, such as your breathing, blood pressure or heart rate.
AAG is a form of autonomic neuropathy or dysautonomia. Autonomic neuropathies and dysautonomias are disorders of your autonomic nervous system.
Source: The Cleveland Clinic