In 2005, Tony Nicklinson, now 57, suffered a massive stroke that left him paralyzed except for small eye and head movements. Nicklinson was diagnosed with “locked-in syndrome,” which sounds like what it is, leaving the patient essentially been trapped inside his own body.
Nicklinson has been fighting for the right to ask a doctor to end his life when he chooses. His family and legal team will attend a court hearing tomorrow regarding that groundbreaking decision.
In the meantime, he’s using to social media to make his voice heard.
Thanks to technology, Nicklinson can compose tweets and emails with the help of a special software that translates his eye movements into words.
Nicklinson sent his first tweet on June 13, and the U.K.’s Channel 4 Dispatches recorded a video of the event, branded with the hashtag #Tony.
The current affairs documentary series (@C4Dispatches) aired Tony’s story today in an episode entitled, “Let Our Dad Die,” featuring an interview conducted by Cathy Newman, who called it the “longest, saddest” interview she had ever conducted. @TonyNicklinson — now boasting more than 20,000 followers — tweeted up to and during the televised event with the hashtag #righttodie.
The Guardian‘s Elizabeth Day (@elizabday) also began conducting an interview with @TonyNicklinson today via Twitter, which will continue tomorrow and throughout the beginning of the week. Anyone who wants to join the conversation is invited to use the hashtag #talktotony.
Watch Tony send his first tweet:
Watch Tony’s interview from Dispatches: