‘I’d have offered my soul for him to not undergo’: Express readers again proper to die | UK | News | EUROtoday

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Rebecca reading letters to Dame Esther

Rebecca learn among the scores of letters delivered to the Express workplaces (Image: Jonathan Buckmaster)

The daughter of Dame Esther Rantzen was moved to tears by heartfelt letters which have flooded the Express workplaces in assist of her mum’s marketing campaign.

Rebecca Wilcox stated the phrases of those that shared their tragic experiences or fears had been a painful however vital reminder of what she and her household are combating for.

One reader stated her “husband and soulmate of over 35 years suffered beyond words for over two years”. She added: “I would have sold my soul for him not to have suffered as much.”

Another wrote of those that opposed assisted dying: “These people do not realise it’s not just the patients suffering, it’s the close family who go through massive distress and torment.”

Broadcaster Rebecca, 44, stated: “Sharing these stories is so brave. How dare we not listen?

READ MORE: Dame Esther ‘fighting for my family and others’ with assisted dying debate

Rebecca was moved by the deeply personal experiences readers shared

Rebecca was moved by the deeply personal experiences readers shared (Image: Jonathan Buckmaster)

“It is so difficult these days to write a physical letter. The fact that they are sitting here, these genuine voices on paper, telling these terrible stories and being so brave to contact mum and the Express, I’m so grateful.”

In a handwritten message on yellow paper, Jean Couldwell informed of her twin sister Joan’s struggling with terminal most cancers that had unfold to her bones, lungs and liver.

Jean, 83, of Sheffield, wrote: “We didn’t think or believe Joan would still be with us at Christmas.

“She just wants an end to it all, now or even earlier, but to no avail. Assisted dying must be brought into England as soon as possible.

“The Government should see what I am seeing with my beloved sister, she is now a bag of bones.”

The letter was written simply 11 days earlier than Joan died on January 31. Last evening, Jean informed the Express too many MPs had no thought what households like hers had been going by way of.

She added: “Joan just wanted to die. It has been a terrible time. If I could have wheeled her into the House of Commons on a trolley, I would have done it. I’m absolutely lost.”

Dame Esther and Rebecca at a 2015 investiture ceremony

Dame Esther and Rebecca at a 2015 investiture ceremony (Image: PA )

Tony Golby, 81, additionally described haunting reminiscences of his mom’s struggling earlier than she handed away 30 years in the past following an extended sickness.

Recalling how her weight plummeted from 11 stone to 6, he wrote: “I would get a call from the hospital that mum would not see the night out.

“On arrival, the first thing mum always said was: ‘Why won’t they let me die?’”

Tony, of Gloucestershire, added: “If I had treated my pets like that, they would have taken me to court.”

In one other observe, Felicity Searle stated her high quality of life had deteriorated since being identified with Parkinson’s 10 years in the past and he or she fears the situation will rob her of her dignity.

Felicity, 79, of Devon, wrote: “I dread the time ahead, a helpless, incontinent, crumbling heap…I am deteriorating. The future frightens me.

“Animals have more dignity than us. If we kept them suffering physically, going on and on, it would be deemed cruel.

“We can end their suffering when we know they’ve had enough. But humans? Nothing so dignified. Shame on them who don’t want to make assisted dying legal.”

Reading the letter, Rebecca stated: “This is clearly someone who is so fearful of the future.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful for people to realise that having legislation that allows her to make a choice would alleviate that dread?”

Enclosed with Felicity’s letter was a lovingly decorated card with words of support for Dame Esther, including a quote from essayist and poet Joseph Addison: “No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another.”

Wiping away tears, Rebecca said the letters would give her strength as she continues to campaign on her mum’s behalf.

She said: “It’s really important to know that we’re not shouting into a void.

“The very strange silver lining of this is hearing other people’s stories and knowing that we’re giving a voice to people who haven’t actually had a chance to say this before.”

Dame Esther revealed in December that she had registered with the Swiss assisted dying clinic Dignitas after being diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

Her decision to speak out in support of legalising assisted dying breathed new life into a decades-long campaign, which the Express has backed since early 2022.

Thousands of readers cut out, filled in and returned coupons printed in this newspaper – more than 2,000 of which were in a box delivered to 10 Downing Street with our petition on Thursday.

Dame Esther, 83, stated she had been “deeply moved by the courage and compassion” of all those that have proven their assist.

She added: “I hope they feel we are representing them. I hope they will be watching the debate.

“And please make sure your member of parliament knows how you feel and why – because it’s your stories that are going to persuade people.”

Davina Hehir, deputy chief government of marketing campaign group Dignity in Dying, stated the energy of feeling on this subject “has never been clearer – there are 205,000 signatures on Dame Esther’s petition and counting to prove it”.

She added: “It has been extremely moving to see the outpouring of well wishes for Dame Esther Rantzen and support for this movement, since we launched the petition together as part of the Give Us Our Last Rights campaign.

“As well as giving love and support, these letters have been articulations of recognition and empathy.

“Too many people have had loved ones who have died in agony, and too many are themselves facing the same impossible choices as Dame Esther and her family.

“Ahead of the debate in Westminster today, MPs must take this opportunity to reflect what dying people and bereaved families have been telling them and take action to progress this vital change in the law.”