BELGIUM – A Belgian Paralympian has ended her life through euthanasia. She was 40
Marieke Vervoort, a wheelchair sprinter, had an incurable degenerative muscle disease.
She won gold and silver at the London 2012 Paralympics and two medals at Rio 2016.
Euthanasia is legal in Belgium and in 2008 Vervoort signed papers which would one day allow a doctor to end her life.
A statement from her home city of Diest said Vervoort “responded to her choice on Tuesday evening,” the BBC reported.
Vervoort’s disease caused constant pain, seizures, paralysis in her legs and left her barely able to sleep.
In an extensive interview with BBC Radio 5 Live’s Eleanor Oldroyd in 2016 she said: “It can be that I feel very, very bad, I get an epileptic attack, I cry, I scream because of pain. I need a lot of painkillers, valium, morphine.
“A lot of people ask me how is it possible that you can have such good results and still be smiling with all the pain and medication that eats your muscles. For me, sports, and racing with a wheelchair – it’s a kind of medication.”