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Wife of firefighter who travelled to Switzerland for euthanasia makes emotional plea.

Last week, Victorian veteran firefighter Troy Thornton travelled to Switzerland to undergo voluntary euthanasia.

The 54-year-old, who had multiple system atrophy, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder with no prospect of recovery, was forced to travel overseas to receive the lethal injection when he didn’t qualify for voluntary assisted dying in Victoria.

Although Victoria is the first state in Australia to legalise euthanasia, Troy was forced to travel overseas and be away from his friends, family and his two teenage children during his final moments as his illness was not considered terminal.

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Now, Troy’s wife Christine Thornton is sharing his story in the hope the same thing won’t happen to anyone else.

“You’ve got to have two doctors that will sign off to say that he will die in 12 months,” Christine explained to 9News.

“And they won’t do that. And you can’t prove or say that Troy will die in 12 months,” she added.

“I had to leave my children and my family and fly away from them to go to the other side of the world to have a choice that we should have here.”

In the interview, Christine also described her husband’s final moments in a Swiss euthanasia clinic last Friday.

“We were laying down, holding each other, talking to each other – right until the end,” she said.

“He just said, ‘no more words… I’m going’. And then with that, he sort of fell asleep.”

troy thornton
"We were laying down, holding each other, talking to each other – right until the end." Image: 9News.
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Troy's mother Barbra Thornon has also urged politicians to make euthanasia more accessible to avoid people having to travel overseas.

"There has to be something done about this," she told The Age.

"I hope this is his legacy... I will be proud of that and hopefully one day it will be passed and people won't have to travel."

Speaking to AAP prior to travelling to Switzerland, Troy explained that his disease would have progressed until he was in a vegetative stage.

“After a while it attacks different systems, breathing, swallowing. I’d end up drowning in my own mucous, that’s what happens,” he said.

"First you can’t swim, then you can’t run, walk, kick the footy with your children, you can’t surf, drive; eventually it takes your career. Then you end up being a vegetable."

Tags: australian-news , euthanasia , news-3 , news-stories
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