Mum’s traumatic death inspires 400-mile walk from Banbury to Glasgow

A woman whose mother suffered a traumatic death is walking 400 miles from Banbury to Glasgow for the campaign to legalise assisted dying.

Joanne Henderson said her mum, Patricia Henderson from Bloxham, could have avoided the pain she suffered before her death at the Horton General Hospital in January of coronary heart disease by choosing to end her life.

Joanne Henderson is walking from Banbury to Glasgow for Dignity in Dying NNL-190706-142136001

Joanne Henderson is walking from Banbury to Glasgow for Dignity in Dying NNL-190706-142136001

Afterwards, the 48-year-old woman, who lives in Lille, France, decided to raise funds and awareness for charity Dignity in Dying by walking from Banbury to where she was born.

“My mother’s death was the most violent experience of my life. The maximum doses of painkillers on offer were not enough to relieve her pain and suffering,” she said.

“We all want a good death and she should have been able to make a decision to die on her own terms.

“With acute ischemic heart disease and pulmonary oedema she could not have been saved but her ending could have been peaceful and dignified. The law has to change to give dying people this choice.”

Patricia Henderson, from Bloxham, died of heart disease in January, 2019. Photo: Joanne Henderson NNL-190706-142125001

Patricia Henderson, from Bloxham, died of heart disease in January, 2019. Photo: Joanne Henderson NNL-190706-142125001

Joanne will be setting off from Banbury Cross at around 9.30am on Monday (June 10) and invited people to join her for the first leg of her adventure to Warwick.

The plan is to walk around 20 miles a day for 21 days, taking in Birmingham, Staffordshire, Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria before crossing the Scottish border.

Joanne will rely on friends of friends and ‘the kindness of strangers’ for accommodation, keeping hotels to a minimum, but may have to sleep in a tent during the more barren parts of Scotland.

When asked how she came up with the idea, she said: “I picked up a flyer on Dignity in Dying, which is something my mum believed in strongly, and I’ve always wanted to do a long walk.

“The two ideas came together to go from Banbury to Glasgow and when I told people I thought they would talk me out of it but they thought it was a great idea and it’s just snowballed from there.”

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