Brittany Maynard died two months ago as planned by taking a legal and lethal prescription. Now, 29-year-old Brittany Maynard’s husband, Dan Diaz, shares his wife’s last day and her final moments. On her last day, his wife had no doubts that it was her time to leave this earth said Diaz in an interview according to a Today Jan. 14 report.
The NBC News interview with Meredith Vieira aired on Wednesday. Besides sharing his wife’s final day, 43-year-old Diaz opens up about how he is dealing with his wife’s death and how he is moving on.
As reported by the Examiner on Oct. 7, Brittany Maynard had a brain tumor – and a legal prescription from an Oregon physician to take her own life. In January of 2014, Brittany had just turned 29 and she and her newlywed husband were trying to become parents. But fate had a different path in store for the happy San Francisco couple.
While in the wine country to celebrate the new year and their life together, the newlyweds received the devastating news that Brittany had brain cancer. Originally, she was told by doctors that she had three to 10 years to live, but in April, 70 days after Brittany had surgery, she was told during a post-op appointment that she had Stage 4 glioblastoma, a much more aggressive brain tumor than previously thought, and that she had only six months to live.
Having to face the inevitable – a life with increasing seizures, pain, and eventual brain damage — Brittany and Dan moved to Portland where Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act gave Brittany Maynard the right to die. While Brittany fulfilled her last wishes by travelling with family members and friends, her husband picked up the lethal dosage that the 29-year-old planned to take on Nov. 1.
“I’m not killing myself. Cancer is killing me. I am choosing to go in a way that is less suffering and less pain,” said Brittany during a phone interview on Oct. 9.
On the morning of Nov. 1, the day Dan’s wife had planned to die, Brittany had another seizure around 7 a.m. “The seizure that morning was a reminder of what she was risking because what was coming next was losing her eyesight, becoming paralyzed and an inability to speak. And then she would essentially be trapped in her own body,” said Dan in his interview.
After resting in bed until around 9 a.m. Brittany was able to get up and went on a walk near their house with Dan, other family members, a friend, and their pet dogs. “We got back to the house and she just knew it was her time,” recalls Dan of that final walk.
After returning home, Brittany Maynard prepared her medications and retreated to her bedroom. ”She had planned every detail, said her brother in law, Adrian Diaz. Those personal touches included the specific people with whom she wanted to spend her last moments. She called that small group her ‘ring of love’.”
“She took the medications — a mixture of sedatives, respiratory system depressants and water. Five minutes later, she was asleep in her bed. About 30 minutes later, she was gone.”
Brittany Maynard died in her husband’s arms. For Dan, letting his wife go was unbearable and painful, but it was nothing in comparison to the pain that the love of his life would have had to endure had she continued to live.
“That’s what you struggle with: Here’s the person I love, and I don’t want to see her go, but the seizure that morning was a reminder of what she was risking. Because what was coming next was losing her eyesight, becoming paralyzed, inability to speak, and she’d be essentially trapped in her own body. You don’t want to let go of your loved one, but to suggest that she should suffer for me, for anyone — no.”
Brittany Maynard’s husband is continuing her legacy of fighting for the right to die in California and across the nation. Dan is continuing his wife’s death-with-dignity work on the Brittany Maynard Fund website. As he says about her last day and her final moments, “the suffering and the torment and everything she had gone through. Well, that was finally lifted.”