A Dublin mum who helped her daughter end her life, has spoken about the agony of being arrested, just hours after her daughter passed away.
Kay Gilderdale administered drugs to her daughter Lynn (31) to help her end her life. Shortly after her death she was arrested, strip searched and locked in a prison cell.
Gilderdale (55) gave her sick daughter morphine and a cocktail of drugs to help her commit suicide so as to end her 17-year battle with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).
"They took me to the custody block, where I had to hand over everything I had with me. Then I was shown to a cell and two female police officers came and strip-searched me. They took my shoes, socks and tee-shirt but left me my jeans and cardigan,” she wrote in her book “One Last Goodbye”.
"They photographed my body to look for bruises as evidence of any kind of fight. Two nurses took blood and urine samples and swabs. They even snipped bits off my nails -- everything to look for signs of a struggle."
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After growing up in Dublin, Gilderdale trained to become a nurse in the UK where she now resides. She explained how her daughter had begged her to help her to die after suffering a long battle with ME which left her bed-bound.
On December 3,2008, Lynn injected herself with 210mg of morphine, after it failed to take affect, she pleaded with her mother to give her more.
"I knew instantly what had happened: she had injected the entire contents of the syringe into her bloodstream. She was crying as she signed to me, 'I can't take any more. I can't go on... I have taken all this morphine already, but it is not enough. Please, Mum, you must get me some more,' she told me," the mother recalled.
"I thought about all the things she'd put up with in 17 years of illness -- people disbelieving her, doctors sticking huge needles into her spine, her veins collapsing, contracting MRSA in hospital.
"Now, she was suffering kidney and heart problems, osteoporosis, liver dysfunction, adrenal failure and an underactive thyroid. I couldn't see how she could ever lead a normal life."
After hours of her pleading for more drugs, Gilderdale finally broke down and gave her more drugs. Later she gave her more pain medication and yet another dose of morphine. Almost 30 hours after she had called for her mam, Lynn stopped breathing.
Gilderdale then phoned her ex-husband to tell him to come to the family home in Stonegate, a village in east Sussex, to say goodbye to their daughter. He then contacted the coroner and told them his ex-wife had given Lynn morphine.
As a result she was arrested and later charged in 2009 with attempted murder. However a court later found her not guilty.
The grieving mother told the Evening Herald she decided to write a book about her daughters illness so people could understand what a difficult decision it had been.
"I got the impression that people didn't realize what a strong personality she was and exactly what she had gone through," Kay said.
"I miss her all the time, nothing will take away this deep sadness inside me but now I also remember the happy moments we shared, and before she was ill,’ she added.
From One Last Goodbye by Kay Gilderdale, published this year by Ebury.
Watch an interview with Kay Gilderdale below.
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