Woman whose mother suffered ‘traumatic death’ coming to Preston on 400-mile walk to raise awareness of assisted dying

Posted on - 18th June, 2019 - 7:07pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, People, Preston News
Jo Henderson and Patricia Henderson
Jo Henderson, left, is walking 400 miles in memory of her mother Patricia Henderson

A woman whose mother suffered a traumatic death is passing through Preston on a 400-mile walk to raise funds and awareness for the campaign to legalise assisted dying.


Joanne Henderson is walking to her hometown of Glasgow from Banbury, where her mother died in January this year. She will arrive in Preston from Wigan on Wednesday 19 June, before leaving the following day for Lancaster.

Joanne said: “My mother’s death was the most violent experience of my life. The maximum doses of painkillers on offer were not enough to relieve her pain and suffering. We all want a good death and she should have been able to make a decision to die on her own terms.

“With acute ischemic heart disease and pulmonary oedema she could not have been saved but her ending could have been peaceful and dignified. The law has to change to give dying people this choice.

“When you watch someone you love go through this, you realise how important it is to start having conversations about death and dying. I want to use this walk to speak to people around the country about what a good death is.

“We need to know what this means to different people, and for some that will mean having a greater say over when, where and how they die.”

Read more: Spot yourself as Race for Life’s Pretty Muddy took over Moor Park

Joanne is raising money for Dignity in Dying, which campaigns for a change in the law to allow terminally ill, mentally competent adults in their final months the option of an assisted death.

Joanne said: “If anyone is going through grief or the difficulties of caring for a loved one at the end of life, I am also walking for you and for everyone that this will touch at a future time.

“If you would like to make a donation to support my walk, please use the fundraising page set up by Dignity in Dying.”

What do you think about Joanne’s challenge? What are your thoughts on assisted dying? Let us know in the comments below.

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