Vicky Crichton in hospital with her adored mum Brenda Bartlem-Ward.
Vicky Crichton in hospital with her adored mum Brenda Bartlem-Ward.

Sarina mum’s last days were ‘soul destroying’

A former Sarina resident whose dying mother asked her to put a pillow over her face has welcomed a Mackay politician's stance on voluntary assisted dying.

Vicky Crichton watched her mum Brenda Bartlem-Ward's weight drop from 100kg to just 38kg in her final months of life.

"For someone who was so vibrant and happy - watching her fade every day was just heartwrenching," Ms Crichton said.

"She would be in a wheelchair looking at a fish tank with no light in her eyes.

"It was soul destroying."

Refusing to eat or take medication despite being in excruciating pain, Ms Crichton's mum begged anyone who would listen to "please, end my life".

After a final harrowing month of battling lung disease, a broken rib, shingles and losing the use of her limbs, Ms Bartlem-Ward succumbed to her various illnesses on Anzac Day 2015.

Since then, Ms Crichton has been passionately campaigning to legalise voluntary assisted dying in Queensland.

JUST IN: Mackay MP shares her stance on voluntary assisted dying

Former Sarina woman and marriage celebrant Vicky Crichton.
Former Sarina woman and marriage celebrant Vicky Crichton.

She has praised Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert for speaking out in support of VAD laws and launching a survey to gauge residents' opinions on the issue.

"I think it's brilliant that a politician has had the gumption to say they do support it, with safeguards put in place," Ms Crichton said.

"Politicians sit on the fence mostly. For her to personally say that she would support it will hopefully make some more politicians take notice or have a think about it.

"I commend her for that."

More stories:

Health service passes financial efficiency check-up

'Extraordinary gaps' in Mackay end-of-life care revealed

Health service expansions to cut patient travel

Ms Crichton said she still had regrets over her mum's final days and wished VAD laws had been in place back in 2015.

"I still say to her at night 'I'm so sorry I couldn't do anything'," she said.

Subscriber benefits:

How to activate your free Courier-Mail subscription

How to get Daily Mercury news straight to your inbox

Your dose of Harry Bruce cartoons

Originally published as Euthanasia push: Sarina mum's last days were 'soul destroying'

Originally published as Euthanasia push: Sarina mum's last days were 'soul destroying'



Bruce Hwy stretch to get safety improvements

Premium Content Bruce Hwy stretch to get safety improvements

The work will take place from April 15 to late-2022.

Gladstone power station appoints new GM

Premium Content Gladstone power station appoints new GM

The new GM has plenty of experience in leadership roles.

Gladstone drink-driver and court avoider finally punished

Premium Content Gladstone drink-driver and court avoider finally punished

The woman told police she had attended court on the wrong day.