I was not sure if I should share this final part of my experience with a senior citizen called Eddah. But since we are Uncommon, we trend on paths many dread to go to.
My friend Eddah "killed" her son. That is what I concluded when she told me the logic of ending her son's seven months of suffering.
Her last born son was involved in a deadly car crash. He went into a coma and doctors declared him brain-dead. All his body parts were OK but his brain was not functional. He was a vegetable, Eddah tells me.
In a moment of desperation, she asked the doctors, psychologists and the attending Neurologist to be honest with her about her son's health. They served her the truth in a cold way. Her dear son would never wake up, he would never marry his blue-eyed girlfriend that he had proposed to a few months earlier, he would never walk, eat or even breathe on his own. He would never raid his mum's kitchen when he visited her with his buddies.
After additional scans and more medical opinions, Eddah decided to move her son from the specialised hospital to a palliative care facility near her home. He was still feeding through a tube and was on oxygen 24/7. The dilemma was how long to keep him alive. It was going to seven months. She was old, in her 80's and the pain of seeing her son in a vegetative state was eating her soul. He was on oxygen and eating through tubes.
Guess what Eddah did? Since the home couldn't legally turn off the oxygen, she asked the hospital to stop feeding him. In a week, her son starved to death. She donated his body parts to the medical school, gave his girlfriend a portion of the insurance money and donated the rest to Charity.
Eddah told me watching her son dead was better than seeing her once healthy and lively son stuffed with tubes.
As Eddah takes her last lap of her life, she often reminds me to think of what I will FEEL when I am also at my end. If I am asked to repeat my life again, I will say a big YES! I do not have regrets! The end.
Did you know, the other word for mercy killing is euthanasia? It is a Greek word that means “good death." When faced with a medical situation where a close relative is in excruciating pain, mental degeneration or a vegetative state the choice of a good death is presented to us. What would you do?