Eric Coulam’s health suddenly declined in 2013, the year his mother committed suicide. The young man, originally from British Columbia in Canada, then began to have stomach aches. As certain foods made him nauseous one day and no longer affected him the next, he consulted a doctor. Unfortunately, the situation worsened until his stomach ruptured. Fluid from his intestine entered his bloodstream, causing him to develop sepsis. The Canadian fell into a coma for about two weeks. He then chained hospital stays for pancreatitis, liver and kidney infections as well as the loss of his small intestine.

Eric is now suffering from severe chronic pain. According to the doctors, he would need a transplant of six organs to get out of it. However, his chances of survival would only be 50%. Completely exhausted, the young man decided to end his life with medical assistance. In Canada, medical assistance in dying became legal in 2016. Only adults can benefit from it. The latter must also suffer from a serious and incurable illness or disability. “There will be an end to this suffering. I suffer all day. I have been locked up between four walls for too long and I have just had enough,” he told CJDC-TV.

Unbearable chronic pain

On May 21, Eric announced his choice to his relatives during a barbecue organized at his father’s house. “I thought about it a lot. I ignored my family because I was at rock bottom. I knew that was what I wanted to do,” he said. If the young man has not yet chosen a date, he is relieved to be able to make this decision himself: “It will not happen when I am at my wit’s end or they have stopped my treatment. It will happen when I’ll be ready. Sometimes I lay there at night, and I’m sad. But most of the time, I’m waiting for that day because I’m in so much pain.” In the meantime, those around him have launched a GoFundMe page to help him achieve his dreams before he says goodbye.



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