After the sad but comforting news that 23-year-old Lily Thai died by assisted suicide, her last wishes are being remembered.
Lily’s story has touched people all over the world because she was a brave person who fought a rare and painful illness. The brave young woman took advantage of the state’s recently passed laws on assisted dying, and this week, she died peacefully at Laurel Hospice, Flinders Medical Center, after a long and painful life.
Doctors gave the 23-year-old a drug through an IV that ended his life quietly in just 10 seconds.
The Adelaide Advertiser reported her peaceful death with a touching remembrance. Thai’s family and friends wrote that she would be remembered as “the much-loved daughter of Kate and Le” and as a “beloved granddaughter, niece, cousin, and treasured friend to many.”
“You may have left our sight, but you will never leave our hearts,” said the touching tribute.
Lily’s parents were well-known in Adelaide’s food scene because they started famous restaurants like Nediz Tu and the Bridgewater Mill.
The 23-year-old’s life was marked by a fight against autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy (AAG), a rare and painful disease in which the body attacks its own nervous system. This caused her to be in “excruciating” pain for years, which kept her in bed and had a big effect on her quality of life.
Her last days were spent at the Laurel Hospice, where she was cared for by her family and friends.
Now, her last two wishes are being taken into account.
— The Advertiser (@theTiser) June 24, 2023
The first one came in the days before she died.
News.com.au says that Thai spent her last day at the beach with her close friend Danika Pederzolli and ate McDonald’s. A touching picture shows her looking out at the ocean from the back of an ambulance.
Pederzolli used the same words as many others when describing Lily. She talked about her friend’s “vibrant attitude, positive and warm presence.” According to the Daily Mail, she thought of Lily as “sunshine in human form,” and she paid her tribute with a touching note and a teddy bear.
Even though they were very sad, Lily’s family accepted her brave choice to use assisted dying. She spent her last day with family and friends who kept coming and going. Before she died, she said, “I won’t have any more pain, I won’t have to deal with any of these problems anymore, and I’ll finally be done with all the pain I’ve been through for so many years.”
Lily’s friendship with fellow AAG patient Annaliese Holland was also a very important part of her life.
Thai’s second wish was that people tell stories about their own struggles with AAG in order to bring more attention to this rare disease.
Together, they hope that their stories will bring attention to the signs of this rare illness and make it easier for other people with AAG to get a diagnosis.
Lily talked about how grateful she was for the help she had gotten from many people, including many she hadn’t talked to in a long time.
Lily died peacefully with the help of South Australia’s new rules on assisted dying. During Lily’s last moments at the hospice, Annaliese stayed committed and did everything she could to bring comfort. “I can only brush her hair or put lotion on her legs. “I just want her to know that I’m there for her and that people care,” she said with love.
As part of Lily’s amazing legacy, her family is asking that, instead of flowers, people make donations to The Hospital Research Foundation. This will support palliative research and help people who are going through similar battles.
Lily Thai’s bravery, kindness, and strength will always be a source of strength for many. At this time, we are thinking about her family and friends.