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23-year-old woman with terminal illness ends life under new assisted dying laws

23-year-old woman with terminal illness ends life under new assisted dying laws

The 23-year-old woman had been suffering in pain for years.

A terminally ill 23-year-old has legally ended her life through assisted dying.

Lily Thai, from Adelaide, south Australia, had lived with a debilitating called autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy, or AAG, since 2021.

This debilitating disease makes a person's immune system attack their nervous system, leaving Lily bedridden and dependent on her dad, celebrated chef Le Thu Thai, to look after her.

Speaking to a local newspaper about her illness, Lily said: "It’s gotten to the place that I’ve lost control of everything else in my life, and I’ve been reliant on my dad as a caregiver to do everything for me, even the most intimate things."

In January, south Australia legalised voluntary assisted dying, and Lily made the tough decision to end her life.

Lily Thai ended her life under new assisted dying laws in south Australia.
Supplied/The Advertiser

Reflecting on this huge decision, she said: "I’ll no longer have any pain, I will no longer suffer with any of these issues, and I’ll finally be free of all the suffering that I have endured for so many years."

A death notice published in The Advertiser confirmed Lily had passed away 'peacefully' at Laurel Hospice in the Flinders Medical Centre on Wednesday, 21 June.

"Much loved daughter of Kate and Le," it read. "Beloved granddaughter, niece and cousin. Treasured friend to many."

One of Lily's closest friends throughout her life is ambulance officer Danika Pederzolli, who has been by her side for some time.

The 28-year-old recently took Lily to the beach, where they sat and looked out at the ocean while having some food.

Speaking about their friendship, Pederzoilli said that she had a 'vibrant attitude' and 'warm presence', describing her as 'sunshine in human form'.

She told The Advertiser: "She's such a positive and warm presence in your life and (such a) smart person. She was just so happy, and she's still like that now, she's no different."

Lily had suffered with her condition for years.
Supplied/The Advertiser

Lily had enjoyed her final trip to the beach with Pederzolli, where she had watched the sea from her wheelchair whilst enjoying some McDonald's chips.

The late Australian had asked that supporters honour her legacy by donating to the Hospital Research Foundation, who fund more than 50 areas of medical research and and patient care across all South Australian public hospitals, universities and medical research centres.

South Australia is just one of many regions around the world that have legalised assisted dying.

Countries that have introduced legislation on the matter include New Zealand, Canada and Switzerland. It has also been legalised in three US states - California, Oregon and Washington.

Featured Image Credit: Supplied/The Advertiser

Topics: Health, Australia, News