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Woman, 23, shared final wish before ending her life through assisted dying

Woman, 23, shared final wish before ending her life through assisted dying

Lily Thai died after struggling with her health for years due to a rare condition

The final wish of 23-year-old Lily Thai has been revealed after she died peacefully under recently established assisted dying laws.

After years of struggling with health issues due to a rare condition called autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy (AAG), Lily, from Adelaide, passed away on 21 June after voluntarily signing papers to end her life.

Her death came after South Australia legalised assisted dying earlier this year, as Lily realised she could no longer continue with the painful life she was set to lead, bedridden and reliant on others for help.

Lily Thai was diagnosed with AAG after years of struggle.
Sky News Australia

According to the National Organization for Rare Diseases, AAG is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks and damages certain parts of the nervous system.

Explaining her decision, Lily said previously: “I decided that pain was so severe it wasn’t worth it, and I just wanted to take it into my own hands.”

The young woman spent her final days at Flinders Medical Centre’s Laurel Hospice, spending some of her final moments with her friend, Annaliese Holland, who also has AAG.

When it came time for Lily's friends and family to honour her life at her funeral, Annaliese recalled holding Lily's hands as she took her last breaths.

Lily Thai voluntarily signed forms to end her life.
Sky News Australia

“I pinky promised her - and I don’t ever break pinky promises - that we would cherish those last moments together,” she said.

Annaliese, 23, also shared Lily's 'final wish' before she passed away, explaining: "I asked Lily what I could do for her, anything, and one wish was that she wanted her life to be celebrated and be known.

"She wanted her journey to be known to help others. I hope that I was able to allow her a voice to share her story on every level."

As well as helping others, Annaliese said Lily wanted her legacy 'to continue on in some way'.

"She loved the idea of something charitable, something that could benefit others," Annaliese added.

Lily Thai was just 23 when she died.
Supplied/The Advertiser

In the hope of making Lily's wish come true, Annaliese decided to name 21 June as 'Lily's Day', on which lilies could be sold to raise money for charity.

The dedicated friend also promised that she would continue her work with the Hospital Research Foundation for both herself and Lily, who wanted to see a palliative care unit set up there specifically for young people with terminal conditions.

“I’ll always remember you, cherish you and keep you in my heart," Annaliese said. "We will be eating your dad’s pizza together up there together one day, I promise you. I will fight until I can’t … because no one should have to go through what we have at 23."

The Hospital Research Foundation Group Palliative Care is now collecting donations in honour of Lily.

Featured Image Credit: Supplied/The Advertiser

Topics: Australia, Health, Life