Face of Rio Paralympics Marieke Vervoort reveals she’s ready for euthanasia saying ‘I don’t want to suffer any more’.
She still talks of the once-held dreams to be a sports teacher and a top track and field athlete, and a love of sparkling wine.
But as Paralympic star Marieke Vervoort talks to the Telegraph, her mind is filled with wanting to die.
“I don’t want to suffer any more,” she says in the fifth-floor bedroom at Brussels University Hospital.
“It’s too hard for me now. I get more and more depressed. I never had these feelings before. I cry a lot.”
Vervoort, the 38-year-old Belgian wheelchair athlete, is a Paralympic and world sprint champion.
But in Rio, 2016, her battle with the shocking pain of progressive tetraplegia propelled her into the international spotlight, as it was revealed she had signed euthanasia papers in Belgium.
As the Telegraph puts it, the illness has since “advanced with pitiless cruelty”.
There are constant sleepless nights, lapses in and out of consciousness, and the interviewer witnesses Vervoort’s “curdling screams” as injections are administered. She can no longer eat properly, throwing up everything except pudding. The paralysis is up to her breasts, and pain medication hardly works anymore.
Belgium has the most advanced euthanasia laws in the world and she is well past the point where three doctors agree that the pain is intolerable and incurable.