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Serialisation of Kay Gilderdale book
Sunday 24 April 2011
The UK's Daily Mail has published excerpts from Kay Gilderdale's book, One Last Goodbye. We will hopefully be adding them as they appear.
These are the articles available at the moment:
How I helped my darling daughter to die
She was a sunny little chatterbox. Then a mystery illness left Lynn unable to walk or talk – and in constant pain. Finally, she begged her mother to do the unthinkable
This is it, the moment of truth. After an hour and 45 minutes behind closed doors, the jury is about to reveal whether they think I deliberately set out to murder my beloved daughter, Lynn.
My every nerve is stretched to breaking point. I reach for the locket I have worn throughout the nine-day trial, containing a picture of Lynn and some strands of her hair.
I know how much Lynn would have hated my having to go through this. The last thing she told me before she died was that she was frightened of what might happen to me.
‘Foreman of the jury, have you reached a verdict on the charges against Kay Gilderdale on which you are all agreed?’ asks the usher.
‘Yes,’ comes the reply.
‘On the charge of attempting to murder her daughter, Lynn Gilderdale, how do you find?’
I hold my breath.
It had been such an ordinary autumn afternoon when, 17 years earlier, I took the call that marked the beginning of the end for family life as we had always known it.
It was the secretary at Lynn’s school, asking if I would go and collect her. She’d had her TB jab that morning and wasn’t feeling well.
I arrived to find Lynn, then 14, looking pale. ‘I’m sorry to drag you away from work, Mum, but I feel sick and faint,’ she said.
The next morning she seemed fully recovered and went off to school as usual, giggling with her friends on their way to the bus. But then the school called to say she was feeling unwell again. This time it was flu and she was ill for days with sweats, a high temperature and aching limbs.
She hadn’t fully recovered from this when she got bronchitis, then tonsillitis, then glandular fever, then another chest infection. She was taking strong antibiotics for months. It was as if her entire immune system had closed down.
She was worried about what was happening to her; and why.
‘What’s the matter with me?’ she asked one day. ‘Why can’t I get better? I’m missing so much school.’
In fact, Lynn never went back to school. Within a matter of weeks, our lovely girl was no longer the lively, sunny chatterbox my husband Richard and I had always known.
Saved by my daughter from beyond the grave... The deeply moving story of a mother accused of murdering her sick child
Last week, we told the heartbreaking story of how KAY GILDERDALE was arrested for helping her daughter end her life after 17 years living with ME — chronic fatigue syndrome. Here, in a moving account from her new book, she describes her ordeal in court . . . and its dramatic conclusion
Only after we reached the police station, after my arrest, did I notice I was wearing odd shoes. One high-heeled, one low. Not that I cared. I didn’t care about anything any more.
After 17 years of suffering, my beloved daughter Lynn was dead and I had done the right thing in helping her die.
knew assisted suicide was against the law, but I was ready to admit to the police what had happened over the past 48 hours. All that mattered was I’d done my best for Lynn.
I’d been into her bedroom to see her one last time before the police came to the house to arrest me. She looked so peaceful as I kissed her cheek.
At Brighton police station, I was cautioned, but by then I was in a daze. I’d had no food or sleep for 48 hours and was destroyed by the anguish of having lost my beautiful daughter. I was taken to a custody block then shown to a cell where two female police officers strip-searched me then took my shoes, socks and T-shirt, leaving me with my jeans and a cardigan.
Two nurses took blood samples and swabs and snipped off my nails in the search for signs that there had been a struggle between Lynn and me.
‘We want you to know that we are all behind you here,’ one of the nurses confided to me. ‘We think it’s terrible that you have been arrested.’
Please note: This article contains references to death. If you have feelings of helplessness, or of suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately. Lifeline is an excellent starting point: Lifeline – Suicide Prevention resources and links.
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