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Author announces her own death with heartbreaking final post after dementia diagnosis
Featured Image Credit: X/@wendypmitchell

Author announces her own death with heartbreaking final post after dementia diagnosis

Dr Wendy Mitchell has been an advocate for raising awareness about dementia.

Warning: This article contains discussion of suicide which some readers may find distressing.

An author has announced her own passing in a post to social media.

Upon being diagnosed with early onset dementia 10 years ago, Dr Wendy Mitchell started an online blog - called Which me am I today? - documenting her experiences living with the disease.

However, yesterday (22 February) marks the author and sociologist's final post, her daughters sharing a blog post Wendy wrote before she died to announce her passing.

Wendy - who wrote the book Somebody I used to know and One Last Thing - passed away at the age of 68 after being diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2014 at the age of 58 - a condition which causes 'a progressive decline in people’s ability to think, reason, communicate and remember', as per Dementia UK.

It explains dementia is described as 'early onset,' 'young onset' or 'working age' when 'symptoms develop before the age of 65'.

Wendy's daughters Sarah and Gemma took to their mom's X account to share their mom's final blog post.

The post reads: "Our mum died peacefully early this morning. She wrote a blog post before she died so you can read about it from her perspective."

And the blog post - titled My final hug in a mug - makes for a tremendously heartbreaking but important read.

Wendy Mitchell shared an old photo of herself in the post.
Wendy Mitchell

Addressing everyone who has been following her story as well as 'anyone else who cares,' Wendy explains if you're reading the blog post, it means she's 'sadly died'.

The post continues: "Sorry to break the news to you this way, but if I hadn’t, my inbox would eventually have been full of emails asking if I’m OK, which would have been hard for my daughters to answer…"

Wendy reflects on how 'resilient' she has been throughout her life, but how she could never have predicted she would end up diagnosed with such a 'cruel disease,' going on to explain why she is such a supporter of making 'assisted dying' legal in more countries.

Ultimately, 'after looking at every option and eventuality,' resolute in not wanting her dementia to take her to the stage where she becomes 'reliant on others' for her 'daily needs,' she revealed she decided she wanted to go to Switzerland for a 'dignified death'.

Wendy has written several books.
X/ @WendyPMitchell

Unfortunately, after an accident, Wendy wasn't 'confident' enough to travel there alone, but still didn't want to end up as an inpatient in hospital or a resident in a Care Home.

"I’m NOT saying it’s wrong for everyone, I’m saying it’s wrong for me. You may say, ‘but my mum’s in the late stages and she’s very happy in her care home’. "I’m really pleased she is, truly, I am. It’s just not the place I want to end my years," Wendy continues.

So, Wendy decided 'the only choice open' to her was to no longer eat or drink

She said: "I wasn’t depressed, I wasn’t forced or cajoled in any way whatsoever, it was solely down to my choice. I was ready."

Wendy passed away at the age of 68.
X/ @WendyPMitchell

Noting people 'may or may not agree' with her decision and 'how and when' she's decided to 'leave this world,' she stresses the choice was 'totally' hers.

She said: "Some people may be angry at what I’ve done and that’s their prerogative – but don’t take that anger out on anyone other than me.

"This was all MY CHOICE, my decision. So please respect my daughters’ privacy, as they didn’t choose the life I chose, of standing up to and speaking out against dementia."

Wendy resolves if anyone reading wants to 'do something' for her, it's to 'campaign for assisted dying to be law here'.

She concluded: "Thank you to all those who have supported me along the way…your support was invaluable.

"Dementia didn’t play the winning card – I did."

You can read Wendy's final blog post here.

If you've been affected by dementia or Alzheimer's and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact the Alzheimer's Association via 800.272.3900 open 24 hours seven days a week.

Topics: Books, Health, Mental Health, Social Media, Twitter, World News