Tony Nicklinson's widow has said she hopes people will continue to campaign for a change in the law on assisted dying following her husband's death.

58-year-old Mr Nicklinson suffered from locked-in syndrome and died last week after losing a landmark High Court right-to-die case. He had been refusing food in the days leading up to his death and had contracted pneumonia.

Following the decision he was visibly distressed, sobbing in front of cameras while Jane Nicklinson told reporters the ruling had left him "heartbroken."

tony nicklinson

His wife wiped away Mr Nicklinson's tears in a BBC interview

Mrs Nicklinson told the BBC the family knew the result of the High Court ruling days before it was made public - something which "knocked him for six", his widow said.

"I think he had raised his hopes so much - probably out of proportion. He said he hadn't been prepared for the emotional side of it for him and he was absolutely devastated," she added.

"I don't think he would have wanted to keep going for too much longer. One of the last things he said to me was 'I'm already dead - don't mourn for me'.

"And it's true, we did. I think in some respects, seven years ago was harder than this because we did lose the old Tony."

Mr Nicklison was a keen and active sportsman until he was paralysed by a stroke in 2005. Jane Nicklinson, who, along with daughters Lauren and Beth, had backed her husband's legal bid, echoed other right-to-die campaigners' calls for Mr Nicklinson's memory to live on through a continued battle to change the law, which had prevented doctors from ending his life.

Speaking to the BBC, Mrs Nicklinson said: "This is certainly not the end of the campaign. I do hope that someone takes it up.

"Even though we didn't win (the legal case), all the hard work for the case has been done. I hope at some point someone will come forward and carry on with what Tony started.

"I think we always knew the chances of winning at this stage were slim - possible but slim - and we'd never been told anything different so we were prepared for it."

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  • Tony Nicklinson communicates with his wife Jane at his home after a statement regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life was read to waiting media on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Tony Nicklinson's wife Jane attends to her husband at their home as he prepares for a statement to be read out regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Caretakers help Tony Nicklinson at his home as he prepares for a statement to be read out regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Caretakers help Tony Nicklinson at his home as he prepares for a statement to be read out regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Caretakers help Tony Nicklinson at his home as he prepares for a statement to be read out regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Tony Nicklinson with his wife Jane at home in Melksham, Wiltshire, as the locked-in syndrome sufferer has been left "devastated and heartbroken" after losing his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo credit: PA)

  • Tony Nicklinson with his wife Jane at home in Melksham, Wiltshire, as the locked-in syndrome sufferer has been left "devastated and heartbroken" after losing his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo credit: PA)

  • photo dated 16/08/12 of Tony Nicklinson with his wife Jane as the locked-in syndrome sufferer, who last week lost his legal challenge for the right to end his life with a doctor's help, died at home in Wiltshire today, his lawyers said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday August 22, 2012. See PA story DEATH Syndrome. Photo credit should read: Emma Hallett/PA Wire

  • photo dated 16/08/12 of Tony Nicklinson with his wife Jane (left) and daughters Beth (right) and Lauren as the locked-in syndrome sufferer, who last week lost his legal challenge for the right to end his life with a doctor's help, died at home in Wiltshire today, his lawyers said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday August 22, 2012. See PA story DEATH Syndrome. Photo credit should read: Emma Hallett/PA Wire

  • Tony Nicklinson's wife Jane wipes away tears as he reacts as a statement is read out regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Tony Nicklinson's wife Jane comforts her husband as he reacts as a statement is read out regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Tony Nicklinson wife Jane wipes away tears as he reacts as a statement is read out regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Tony Nicklinson wife Jane wipes away tears as he reacts as a statement is read out regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Tony Nicklinson reacts as a statement is read out regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Tony Nicklinson reacts as a statement is read out loud regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

  • Tony Nicklinson reacts as a statement is read out loud regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

  • Tony Nicklinson reacts as a statement is read out loud regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

  • Tony Nicklinson reacts as a statement is read out loud regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

  • Tony Nicklinson reacts as a statement is read out loud regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

  • Tony Nicklinson reacts as a statement is read out loud regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

  • Tony Nicklinson reacts as a statement is read out loud regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Mr Nicklinson who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help. (Photo credit: Getty Images)