A mother of four fighting a lengthy Covid ‘death sentence’ that has left her bedridden, unable to care for her children, and in constant pain, wants to end her life in Switzerland.
Kelly Louise Smith-May, from Chipping Sodbury in Gloucestershire, is asking for £10,000 to travel to an assisted dying facility ‘to end her suffering’.
The 39-year-old’s condition has gradually deteriorated since she was infected with Covid in December 2021. Mrs Smith-May’s family, who fully support her heartbreaking choice, said: ‘She did not come to this decision easily.’
According to a heartbreaking GoFundMe post written by a close friend, Mrs. Smith-May can no longer care for her children — Kai, Tawny, Zayn and Jett — “whom she absolutely adores with all her heart.”
Both charities and the NHS hypothesize that viral infections could be a potential trigger for people to develop the condition.
As with long Covid, there is no test that can diagnose myalgic encephalomyelitis and no proven cure. The NHS instead focuses on treating patients’ symptoms to help people manage their condition.
Mild cases are treated with cognitive behavioral therapy and ‘energy management’ – a system that helps patients use their limited energy during the day.
Medications can help patients with pain and insomnia, but devices such as wheelchairs can also increase their mobility.
In the same way, the long Covid treatment also focuses on helping patients alleviate the dozens of symptoms attributed to the condition.
“She spends all day every day in the dark, painfully sensitive to light, sound, smells and movement,” reads a fundraising page for the family.
‘She can no longer sit, stand or walk. She can barely talk. She has severe insomnia and if she can get a few hours of sleep, it is not restorative. Due to painful neurological symptoms, she cannot tolerate music, TV, or interaction with friends. She is unable to care for her four children, whom she absolutely loves with all her heart,” the page reads.
The fundraiser details how Mrs Smith-May’s decision to seek euthanasia abroad was not an easy one, describing the 22 months of suffering she experienced as ‘enough’.
“There is no cure and all possible treatments have failed her,” the page reads. ‘Kelly has seen doctors, been to institutions and tried all the recommended remedies to improve her condition, to no avail. She suffers from constant pain throughout her body that doctors cannot relieve, leaving her with no choice but to end her own suffering.’
The fundraising page, written by an unidentified family friend, asks people to help the family fulfill Mrs Smith-May’s dying wish.
“Your kindness and generosity will give Kelly the gift of freedom from pain with respect for her family, who support her choice and want to honor the woman she is,” it read.
The most common symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome is extreme fatigue, but patients may also experience muscle and joint pain, flu-like symptoms, nausea, and cognitive problems.
In rare severe cases, people with the condition can no longer use the toilet or feed themselves.
Because both chronic fatigue syndrome and long Covid-19 are poorly understood conditions, the relationship between the two is uncertain.
Medically assisted dying, or euthanasia, is illegal in Britain and can be prosecuted as manslaughter or murder, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Helping someone commit suicide, also known as assisted suicide, is also a crime and is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
Campaigners have been urging ministers for decades to reconsider the assisted dying law, saying they want Britain to join Australia and New Zealand in making it legal.