Brittany Maynard, the terminally ill cancer patient who chose to take her own life at age 29 on Nov. 1, 2014, spent her final moments with friends and family, her widower, Dan Diaz, revealed to Meredith Vieira during an emotional interview on The Meredith Vieira Show.
Maynard, who was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma cancer in January 2014, had always planned to end her life on Nov. 1, but on Oct. 29, she posted a video to her site noting that she still felt good enough to live longer and it didn’t “seem like the right time.” However, come Nov. 1, her widow Diaz said she had a seizure upon waking up in the morning.
“She had a small seizure and it’s funny because I could tell, I noticed it and I said, ‘Why don’t we sleep in a little bit longer?’ That was at like 7 in the morning, we got out of bed around 9,” he explained. “We took a walk, we went for a hike. She loved being outside, we did take a hike but by hike it was a walk, a flat more or less paved walk with family, with her friends, with the dogs. We got back to the house and she just knew it was her time.”
To say Nov. 1 was a rough day for Diaz would be an understatement. When asked by Vieira if he knew “in his heart it was her time,” he replied: “That’s the thing you don’t want to let go of your loved one but to suggest that she should suffer for me, for anyone, no. That’s what you struggle with, here’s the person I love and I don’t want to see her go but the seizure that morning was a reminder of what she was risking because what was coming next was losing her eyesight, becoming paralyzed, inability to speak, and she’d be essentially trapped in her own body.”
Maynard and Diaz first appeared on The Meredith Vieira Show back in October 2014, where their story soon went viral after she told the world she was choosing to end her own life. “It’s not suicide,” she said at the time. “It’s meant to relieve the suffering.” The couple then moved from California to Oregon, which has a "Death With Dignity" law.
“[Maynard] left this world with zero regrets on time spent, places been or people she loved in 29 years,” her obituary read on her site on Nov. 1, 2014.
Watch the emotional video above.