Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Mum of cancer blogger Lisa Magill shares heartbreaking last moments of daughter's life

By Lisa Smyth

When she started to write her blog about living with terminal cancer, Lisa Magill promised it would feature the good, the bad and the ugly.

And so, as she slipped into unconsciousness and lost her fight with the disease at the weekend, her family made the courageous decision to share some of the most intimate final moments with her 60,000 followers.

Lisa (34), who was originally from Antrim but moved to Australia with her family when she was a child, won admiration around the world for her searingly honest account of coping with the illness in her blog Terminally Fabulous.

No subject was off limits to Lisa, who was diagnosed with a rare, incurable form of stomach cancer when she was 30.

She covered topics such as dating while you are dying, and her own fears as she watched friends also suffering from cancer pass away.

Just a matter of days ago her family posted Lisa's last video, which revealed the ravaging effects of the disease, and in which she described her overwhelming pain while thanking her followers for giving her the strength to keep going.

Her appearance had changed dramatically from the vivacious young woman who had posted previously, and she was obviously in agony as she said: "I am not going very well.

"I have been quite ill and I've been in the hospital for the past few days.

"I am in pain as I speak. My chest is hurting, my stomach hurts, my pelvis hurts, everything massively hurts. I'm so weak I can't actually stand up out of my own bed.

Explaining her decision to post the video, her mum Geraldine said: "Lisa woke for a short period today and was determined to do a video update.

"This is the most energy she's had all day and we know it's all down to you guys.

"I was not sure if I should post it as you can see Lisa's pain and suffering come through, and it is so hard to watch.

"However, I was reminded that Lisa promised she would post the good, the bad and the ugly in her videos.

"Lisa is very weak and every bit of her body is sore. Thankfully she sleeps most of the time and only wakes for pain relief. We just want her at peace now."

It was the last video made by Lisa, but Geraldine posted updates in the following days, including a heartwrenching photograph of her cradling her daughter as the pair lay in a hospital bed.

Along with the image, she wrote: "As Lisa's pain increases so do her meds, which means the time we have with her awake is becoming less and less.

"I always thought I'd hate this, as to me we would never have enough time, I just wanted her with us. How wrong I was.

"When you see your child suffer as Lisa is suffering you do something you never thought you'd have to do.

"You pray hard that God sends his angels to gently lead her to her place in Heaven. You tell her that they are waiting for her so they can get the party started and you hope to God she's listening to you."

She later revealed a decision had been made to provide palliative sedation to Lisa in order to ease her suffering.

"Even in sleep her pain was excruciating and would not let her rest in peace," explained Geraldine.

"Although Lisa was at times disorientated she asked her dad and I a few times why she was still here and when would she pass.

"Although Lisa had mixed feelings on palliative sedation, it was evident that the time was right to give her the option to help ease her pain and agitation.

"Lisa's doctors, who have always given her a say in her treatment and care plan, discussed it compassionately with Lisa and she asked for them to proceed.

"Enough was enough, she had been so brave and courageous and was ready to rest."

On Saturday morning friends of the Magill family awoke in Northern Ireland to the news that Lisa had slipped away, with Geraldine posting that her "gorgeous girl was wrapped in the wings of an angel".

She added: "One thing I know for sure, Lisa passed with so much love and support from around the world, you could feel the sincerity in every message and comment.

"Even though she was sleeping we would tell her how her followers had really rallied behind her along with the increase in her followers and the outpouring of love being shown.

"I know in my heart of hearts this meant so, so much to her. You guys were her love and her passion, you gave her the strength to leave a legacy to be proud of."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph