A 23-year-old woman who will end her life today through euthanasia.
Lily Thai is scheduled through South Australia’s voluntary assisted dying laws, which the state introduced in January.
Doctors will administer an IV medication that will end Ms. Thai’s life in 10 seconds.
The young woman has been in “excruciating” pain from a rare condition known as autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy – in which a person’s body attacks its own nervous system.
Since the age of 17, Lily has been suffering from debilitating illnesses that took her life, leaving her bedridden and unable to move.
She is currently receiving palliative care at Flinders Medical Center’s Laurel Hospice.
Lily (pictured right with fellow patient and AAG patient Annaliese Holland, 23) is unable to move and is in “excruciating” pain from a rare condition known as autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy. On Wednesday she will end her life by means of euthanasia
Lily said she wasn’t well enough to go out in her final days and would instead stay in her bed while being comforted by her loved ones, The advertiser reported.
One person who has been by Lily’s side is 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 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.
Lily Thai, 23, who will use euthanasia laws to end her life on Wednesday, enjoyed a beachside getaway to eat McDonalds with her boyfriend and paramedic, Danika Pederozolli
Ms. Pederzolli added that it was “pretty horrible” what Lily was going through and a situation “no young person should be in,” but said the support for her was “nice.”
Lily said the support she received after sharing her story was incredible.
“A lot of people (who) I haven’t talked to in a long time (reached out), which was absolutely beautiful,” she said.
Lily signed the paperwork last week confirming her decision to end her life.
She has been battling health issues since she was a teenager, with a doctor first diagnosing her with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome when she was 17.
A year later, she developed an upper respiratory infection that left her unable to walk, use her bowels, eat or drink without getting sick.
She was treated for a spinal fluid leak, which she initially thought she had, but it did not improve her condition.
Lily then traveled to Sydney and eventually found some relief through expert care from a team of doctors at Macquarie University Hospital.
The 23-year-old has been robbed of his life after debilitating health problems
She had also seen a surgeon who specialized in patients with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
At this stage, her condition had worsened to the point that she was wearing a halo brace – which forms a ring around the patient’s head, preventing them from moving their head or neck as their spine buckles.
She also had to use a nasal feeding tube because she couldn’t eat anything without getting sick, tipping the scales at 40kg.
Lily underwent spinal fusion surgery and was given a tube to reduce gastric acid secretion.
The surgery took place in the midst of the Covid pandemic, which meant she was not allowed visitors. She was fired early because she struggled to be alone for so long.
Lily was then referred to a Sydney neuroimmunologist who formally diagnosed her with AAG.
At that time, she also discovered that her condition had led to multi-organ failure and a large lesion was found on the left side of her brain.
Lily went back to Adelaide and was admitted to the Laurel Hospices at Flinders Medical Centre, where she spends her days ‘just surviving’.
She struggles with the heartbreaking thought that she only had a matter of time before her body gave out.
Lily spends most of her time sleeping in her hospital bed to avoid the constant chronic pain of her condition.
It had also been lonely if not for family visits and the close friendship she formed with fellow patient, Annaliese Holland, 23, who also suffers from the same condition.
Annaliese’s symptoms began from age 12 with severe pelvic pain.
Doctors initially thought she had endometriosis, but after treatment her symptoms got worse.
Doctors tested her for a number of illnesses during her teenage years, but were unable to diagnose her.
It wasn’t until she was 19 that Annaliese was properly diagnosed with AAG.
Lily has asked those who wish to honor her legacy to donate to the Hospital Research Foundation. You can donate here.