Tetraplegic for thirty-three years since a “devastating stroke“, Maryannick Pavageau “has a natural authority, an air of sympathy which immediately eliminates any feeling of compassion or pity“. This wife and mother “ has succeeded in transforming the burden of her handicap into a flagship for her cause and that of tens of other tetraplegics in matters relating to dignity and end-of-life issues“.
Horrified by the fact that new “euthanasia spin-offs” might emerge and “because every situation can develop”, Maryannick wrote to each candidate in the presidential election. She tackled Benoit Hamon who wants to legalise the right to assisted suicide, as follows: ” Have you considered the disastrous impact that this will have on those who are particularly vulnerable and who feel that they are a burden for society and their families? Are you afraid that French people are incapable of demonstrating this act of love which involves helping someone close to death on a daily basis? “.
Following her stroke, Maryannick spent two months in a coma. Two months she remembers “perfectly“: “her husband who watched over her“, the hospital chaplain who told him “she won’t die”, and the nurse who “unexpectedly switched off the ventilator” – surely “an act of compassion“.
After spending 32 months in hospital, movement gradually returned to her left thumb followed by her speech.
Today, “with strength restored to just two of her fingers“, she closes the interview by delivering the traditional statement to readers: ” All lives are worthy of being saved“.
La Croix, Malo Tresca (22,23/04/17)