Lynn Gilderdale

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Lynn Gilderdale (1977-2008) was fourteen when she became unwell after a routine tuberculosis inoculation. After several illnesses in quick succession she became ill with Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). She had been ill 17 years.

Life[edit | edit source]

Lynn was sporty and athletic and excelled at ballet. She rode horses and was an accomplished musician.

Illness[edit | edit source]

After a routine TB inoculation, Lynn never recovered and then flu, bronchitis, tonsillitis and glandular fever all occurred within three months. A psychiatrist took over her case when an ME specialist referred her to him as he never saw such a severe case of ME. The psychiatrist misdiagnosed her with hysteria.[1] She worsened and ME confined her to her bedroom and she was unable to move her legs, swallow or eat and at times recognize no one. She could no longer speak. She lived with tubes in her nose, chest and inner thigh. At age 20 she went through menopause. During her last hospitalization, she picked up four infections. In 2007 she attempted to take her own life.[2]

Graded exercise[edit | edit source]

Lynn was not put through Graded exercise therapy but was put on an "activity regime". This consisted of doing certain amounts of exercise, schoolwork and socializing regardless of how she felt.[3]

Death[edit | edit source]

Lynn Gilderdale requested her mother's assistance in ending her life. Her mother administered 2 large doses of morphine and as the hours went on sleeping pills, antidepressants and further doses of morphine. After 28 hours, Lynn passed away December 4th, 2008 at age 31.[4]

Lynn had ganglionitis which is an infection of dorsal root ganglia of her spine, typical for a neurological illness.[5]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Lynn was in the UK Documentary Voices from the Shadows. Kay Gilderdale, Lynn's mother, wrote the book One Last Goodbye and it is available at Amazon Easy Fundraising. Kay dedicated it to her inspirational daughter. Kay continues to raise awareness and money for research in Lynn's name.[6]

TV news documentary[edit | edit source]

Panorama TV Show "I Helped My Daughter Die"

Activity regime made her worse[edit | edit source]

Voices From The Shadows—World Premiere and Panel Discussion

See Heading: Lynn Gilderdale[7]

Kay Gilderdale's Plea for Healthcare Education and Appropriate Patient Care

Kay Gilderdale, Lynn's mother, is quoted on the MEActionUK Facebook page: "We watched as our daughter, under the care of those who said they could cure her, lost the ability to do almost anything."[8] Within this post is the link to Kay's passionate plea for an urgently needed change in the treatment of severe M.E. in an open letter: To Whom It May Concern.

The trial of Lynn's mother, Kay Gilderdale[edit | edit source]

ME Association

Mrs Kay Gilderdale admits aiding and abetting suicide of her daughter

"A FORMER nurse accused of trying to kill her daughter after watching her battle a serious illness for 17 years yesterday admitted aiding her suicide.

Kathleen Gilderdale, 54, known as Kay, was supported by family and friends as she entered her plea at Lewes Crown Court."[9]

Fighting Fatigue

Mother Charged With Attempted Murder of ME/CFS Daughter

"Kay Gilderdale, 54, has been charged with the attempted murder of her bedridden daughter who suffered for 17 years from ME/CFS. Kay was the full-time caregiver to her daughter, Lynn Gilderdale, 31. Lynn died last December after a suspected morphine overdose reported by Mrs. Gilderdale’s ex-husband, Richard, a former police sergeant. If Gilderdale is convicted, she could spend the rest of her life in prison."[10]

BBC News

Mother cleared of ME daughter's attempted murder

"A mother has been found not guilty of the attempted murder of her severely ill daughter who had ME. Bridget Kathleen Gilderdale, 55, of Stonegate, East Sussex, was cleared of attempting to murder Lynn Gilderdale by jurors at Lewes Crown Court."[11]

Verdict's family statement.

"My mother, Kay Gilderdale, has today been found “not guilty” of attempted murder of Lynn Gilderdale my sister, in early December 2008.

On behalf of Mum and Lynn’s family and friends, I would like to thank the judge and the jury for their compassion and fair and just considerations.

We believe this “not guilty” verdict properly reflects the selfless actions my mother took, on finding that Lynn had decided to take her own life, to make her daughter’s final moments as peaceful and painless as possible.

These actions exhibit the same qualities of dedication, love and care that Mum unwaveringly demonstrated throughout the 17 years of Lynn’s severe illness. I am very proud of her, and I hope that she will now be afforded the peace she deserves to rebuild her life and finally grieve the death of her daughter.

Thank you very much."

This statement was issued by Lynn's brother, Stephen, after the verdict was issued.[12]

Media about Lynn Gilderdale[edit | edit source]

The Telegraph

Lynn Gilderdale: how a 14-year-old was condemned to a life lived from a bed

"At the age of 14, Lynn Gilderdale was the picture of health. Sporty, athletic, she excelled at ballet, pursued her love of horses with vigour and was an accomplished musician."[13]

The Guardian

Trapped by ME, Lynn Gilderdale made it clear she wanted to die

"Live Journal was the one place where Lynn Gilderdale felt safe uttering her deepest, most troubling thoughts. Using a ­specially-designed handheld ­computer, and ­adopting the pseudonym Jessie Oliver, it was on the internet networking forum that she shared her desire to die with her closest friends."[14]


2011, 'TV clip: Mother talks of death of daughter with ME' via Youtube

Lynn's diary[edit | edit source]

The Daily Mail

The ME victim's diary of despair: 'My body is tired and my spirit is broken. I have had enough, I long to die' [15]


Why I want to die - heartbreaking letter of mercy-killing daughter Lynn Gilderdale

Edited version of Lynn's Diary.[16]

A 1993 UK TV programme profiled a then fifteen year old Lynne.[17]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history