Eve Crotty, Young Ambassador

Eve Crotty

For many years, I served as my mother’s carer as her health increasingly worsened and became more complex. She was diagnosed with ESKD (End Stage Kidney Disease) in 2019 and also suffered from blindness, various other chronic health conditions and many complications from diabetes. Between her various medical appointments, renal dialysis sessions, emergencies and consultations, I was there for it all. 

During this time, my mother’s quality of life severely decreased. To watch her slowly wither away was heartbreaking for myself and our family, knowing that there was nothing we could do other than continue to support her with her endeavours.

Upon realisation that Mum was ineligible for a kidney transplant, we began openly discussing Advanced Care Planning and when to cease renal dialysis. Mum’s biggest fear was that her death would be painful, uncontrollable and lonely. 

Before a consultation to inquire about the processes involved with ceasing renal dialysis, I suggested she ask about Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD). That was when our journey with VAD began. Through an unexpected prolonged process, Mum passed away comfortably and on her terms in August of 2023.

I first heard about Dying With Dignity Victoria (DWDV) through Mum’s nephrologist whilst submitting one of her requests for access to VAD. DWDV provided Mum with the witnesses she needed to assist in her VAD journey. Shortly after this appointment, I became a member of DWDV. Since joining, I have been able to share my mother’s journey, ensuring her strength and determination is never forgotten, my own first-hand experiences, and becoming an advocate for the right to access VAD.

My focus within Victoria’s VAD processes involves:

  • The timeliness of accessing requests and approvals.
  • Public awareness of VAD and Advanced Care options.
  • The protracted application process (from personal experience).  

I believe only a few young people my age (under 25) have had close experience supporting someone through VAD and the total journey involved. Experiencing the process first-hand as a daughter and carer opened my eyes to the world of VAD and the continuing fight for empathy, understanding, open-mindedness and equality when discussing one’s right to die.

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