His plight touched the hearts of millions – locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson's campaign for the right to choose when and where he dies was followed by people all over the world. But sadly, in the same week that Tony lost his battle with the High Court, he also lost his will to carry on living. This morning, at 10am, Tony was finally granted his wish - to die at home, surrounded by his family, and no longer trapped in a life he no longer valued or cared for.
Tony's family issued a statement to confirm the news through their solicitor, and also tweeted from Tony's Twitter account to his 47,000 followers. The girls made their own Twitter statements, with Lauren saying, 'Dad, you are finally at peace. Beth and I are so proud to be your daughters, we got our strength from you. I love you xxx', and Beth tweeting 'RIP @tonynicklinson. Couldn't have asked for a better dad, so strong. You are now at peace, we will be fine. I love you xxx'
Tony's wife, Jane, who dotingly cared for her husband following his stroke seven years ago, said heartbreakingly, '@tonynicklinson last tweet. 'Goodbye world the time has come, I had some fun' I have lost the love of my life but he suffers no more'.
Police have confirmed there are no suspicious circumstances and it is believed Tony died of natural causes. He asked his daughters Lauren and Beth to tweet 'Goodbye world, the time has come, I had some fun' shortly before he died.
Despite having a fully functioning mind, Tony lost the ability to use his body – even to speak – following a devastating stroke seven years ago – and since then his family, including daughters Lauren and Beth, have fought for his right to die.
In the week that their Dad lost his landmark case – the only right to die case in history to be granted a full hearing in a British court – at the High Court, Grazia spoke to Lauren Nicklinson, 24, about her Dad’s absolute agony – and why the family will never give up.
Despite having a fully functioning mind, Tony lost the ability to use his body – even to speak – following a devastating stroke seven years ago – and since then his family have fought for his right to die.
In the week that their Dad lost his landmark case – the only right to die case in history to be granted a full hearing in a British court – Grazia spoke to Lauren Nicklinson, 24, about her Dad’s absolute agony – as they vowed to never give up, unaware that just days later their Dad would peacefully slip away.
‘To look at his face in the pictures from last week, you might think he was having his legs sawn off,’ explains Lauren. ‘But it’s the emotional pain he experiences every single day. It’s excruciating – for him and for us.’
Prior to his stroke, Tony was sports-mad and a doting father – but since his debilitating stroke in Athens in 2005, he could only communicate using his eyes via a Perspex board; through which his family found out of his wish to die.
Since the case was lost, the family set up a petition to ensure the cause is debated in Parliament, and were gearing up to appeal the decision made by three judges at the High Court last week.
‘I’m sure the judges feel they’ve made the right decision,’ Lauren adds. ‘But they’re the ones who get to go home to their wives and enjoy dinner… play with their grandchildren, maybe. They can enjoy a good night’s sleep each night, go to the toilet when they choose and wash themselves.
‘Dad is reminded every day that he has been stripped of his dignity in life – the very least he deserves is to keep his dignity in death.’
Now, thankfully - and after a brave struggle - he's finally at peace. Though he will, of course, be sadly missed.
To read the full interview with Lauren, see this week’s Grazia.
To show your support to Tony and his family, please sign his petition.