A 39-year-old bedridden mother, struggling with a long coronavirus “death sentence”, wants to end her life in Switzerland after nearly two years of suffering that left her in constant agony and unable to care for her four children.

A 39-year-old bedridden mother, struggling with a long coronavirus “death sentence”, wants to end her life in Switzerland after nearly two years of suffering that left her in constant agony and unable to care for her four children.

By John Ely, Mailonline’s chief health correspondent

16:18 28 November 2023, updated 17:04 28 November 2023



A mother of four children is struggling from the long “death sentence” imposed on her by the Corona virus, which has left her bedridden, unable to care for her children and suffering from constant torment, and wants to end her life in Switzerland.

Kelly Louise Smith-May, from Chipping Sodbury in Gloucestershire, is seeking £10,000 to travel to an assisted dying facility to “end her suffering”.

The 39-year-old woman’s condition has gradually deteriorated since she was infected with the coronavirus in December 2021.

Mrs Smith-May’s family, who fully support her heartbreaking choice, said: “She did not come to this decision lightly.”

According to a heartbreaking GoFundMe post written by a close friend, Ms. Smith-May can no longer care for her children — Kai, Tony, Zane and Jett — “whom she absolutely adores with every fiber of her heart.”

Kelly Louise Smith-May, 39, from Chipping Sodbury in Gloucestershire, is seeking £10,000 to travel to an assisted dying facility to “end her suffering”.
According to a heartbreaking GoFundMe post written by a close friend, Ms. Smith-May can no longer care for her children — Kai, Tony, Zane and Jett — “whom she absolutely adores with every part of her heart.”
Mrs. Smith-May, a stay-at-home mother, describes her illness as “poisoning every minute of the day” and “a living death sentence.”

She has also become “totally dependent” on her husband Stuart, who has to turn her over in bed.

Mrs. Smith-May, a stay-at-home mother, described her illness as “poisoning every minute of the day” and a “death sentence to be alive,” according to a fundraising note.

Her family plans to take her by campervan through the Eurotunnel to France, then to the Swiss Pegasos clinic.

Ms Smith-May, who described herself as “bubbly”, “boisterous” and “creative” in an interview with a local newspaper about her illness earlier this year, contracted Covid in December 2021.

However, unlike most people who get rid of their cold symptoms within weeks, she continued to suffer.

What is the current law on assisted dying in the UK?

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, assisting someone to commit suicide is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

While there is no specific law in Scotland helping someone end their life can lead to prosecution for murder.

This, in theory, includes helping someone die abroad.

Charities say the current system leaves seriously ill Britons no choice but to pay thousands of dollars to travel abroad for their deaths.

They also warned that those who cannot afford to travel decide to commit suicide at home, sometimes in pain, compared to medically assisted death.

UK charities currently estimate that one Briton travels abroad every eight days for assisted dying.

There are currently proposals to change the law in some parts of the UK.

Last September in Scotland, Liberal Democrat MP Liam MacArthur tabled the final motion to introduce a Members’ Bill that would legalize euthanasia for terminally ill people, although no date has yet been set for consideration.

Public consultation on a private members’ bill on assisted dying on the Isle of Man closed at the end of January.

A consultation on the assisted dying proposals in Jersey was also held between October 2022 and January, and the consultation feedback report is expected to be published in April.

The long coronavirus, a phenomenon that is not well understood, can leave sufferers with a persistent cough, fatigue, muscle aches, and loss of sense of smell.

While many long-term Covid sufferers find that their symptoms eventually go away, some people, like Ms Smith-May, have them for months or even years.

Some experts consider long Covid to be on par with chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) — a disputed condition often dismissed as laziness.

Ms Smith-May’s family claim her long-term coronavirus spread to the Middle East.

Viral infection has been suggested to be a potential trigger for people to develop the condition by both charities and the NHS.

As with long Covid, there is no test that can diagnose myalgic encephalomyelitis and there is no specific treatment. Instead, the NHS focuses on treating patients’ symptoms to help people manage their condition.

Mild cases are treated with cognitive behavioral therapy and “energy management” – a system to help patients utilize their limited energy throughout the day.

Medications can help patients with pain and insomnia, as well as devices such as wheelchairs to increase their mobility.

Likewise, long-term Covid treatment is also focused It helps patients relieve dozens of symptoms attributed to this condition.

“She spends every day in the dark, and is painfully sensitive to light, noise, smells and movement,” a fundraising page for the family says.

“She can no longer sit, stand or walk. She can barely talk. She suffers from severe insomnia, and when she does manage to get a few hours of sleep, it is uncomfortable.

“Due to painful neurological symptoms, she cannot tolerate music, television or interaction with friends.

“She cannot take care of her four children, whom she loves with every inch of her heart,” the page read.

The fundraiser describes how Ms Smith-May did not make the decision to seek euthanasia abroad lightly, describing the 22 months of suffering she had experienced as “enough”.

The page says: “There is no cure and all possible treatments have failed.”

Kelly has visited doctors, gone to facilities, and exhausted every recommended means to improve her condition with no results.

He added: “She suffers from continuous pain throughout her body, and doctors cannot relieve it, leaving her with no choice but to end her suffering.”

The fundraising page, set up by an anonymous friend of the family, is asking people to help the family fulfill Mrs Smith-May’s last wish.

“Your kindness and generosity will give Kelly the gift of freedom from pain while respecting her family, who support her choice and want to honor the woman she is,” the letter read.

Her condition has gradually deteriorated since she contracted Covid in December 2021
Mrs. Smith-May has become “entirely dependent” on her husband, Stuart, who has to turn her over in bed
Figures released earlier this year show that as of the end of December 2022, there were 1,528 members of Dignitas from Great Britain, according to figures from the not-for-profit organisation, which helps dying patients through a “self-determined end of life”. . This is up from 821 in 2012. Around 33 people from the UK experienced an assisted death at Dignitas in 2022 – compared to 23 the previous year

The most common symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome is extreme fatigue, but sufferers can also experience muscle and joint pain, flu-like symptoms, nausea, and cognitive problems.

In rare severe cases, people with this condition are no longer able to use the toilet or feed themselves independently.

Since both chronic fatigue syndrome and long Covid are poorly understood conditions, the relationship between the two is uncertain.

Medically assisted death, or euthanasia, is illegal in the UK and can be prosecuted for manslaughter or murder with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Helping someone to commit suicide, called assisted suicide, is also a crime and is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Activists have been pressing ministers to reconsider the assisted dying law for decades, and want Britain to follow the lead of countries such as Australia and New Zealand in making it legal.

Earlier this year, MPs were told that Britons with terminal illness would have to choose between “suicide, Switzerland or suffering”, and that future generations would be “appalled” by current legislation.

UK charities currently estimate that one Briton travels abroad every eight days for assisted dying.

They have repeatedly warned that Britons unable to afford the thousands of pounds it can cost to travel abroad for an assisted death are ending their lives at home.

They add that this can lead to people experiencing pain and suffering as they die, compared to a painless, medically assisted death.

But the change in the law is opposed by many religious groups, who claim it would undermine the value that society places on human life.

Over the past 13 years, there have been 200 cases of assisted death or medically assisted suicide referred to prosecutors by police, with four successful prosecutions.

Figures released earlier this year by Dignitas – a non-profit organization that helps patients who decide to “end of life on their own” – revealed that there were 1,528 members from Great Britain at the end of 2022.

This is up from 821 in 2012.

Some 33 people from the UK died in assisted dying at Dignitas in 2022, compared to 23 the previous year.

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