22/08/2012 10:06 BST | Updated 22/08/2012 10:09 BST

Tony Nicklinson Dead: Tributes Pour In For Locked-In Sufferer

Tributes have been paid to locked-in sufferer Tony Nicklinson, who died "peacefully at home" after contracting pneumonia.

His daughter Laura tweeted after her father's death was announced:

Right-to-die campaigner Nicklinson, who lost a landmark High Court action last week, suffered rapidly deteriorating health during the last few days.

Family, friends and lawyers described how the 58-year-old had inspired them, calling him "an extraordinary man" and "gutsy, determined and a fighter to the end."


Tony Nicklinson and his wife Jane

Family solicitor Saimo Chahal said: "[His wife] Jane said that, after Tony received the draft judgment on August 12 refusing his claim, the fight seemed to go out of him.

"He said that he was heartbroken by the High Court decision that he could not end his life at a time of his choosing with the help of a new doctor.

"He could not understand how the legal argument on his behalf could not succeed."

nicklinson rugby

Before his stroke, Tony Nicklinson was a corporate manager, rugby player, skydiving and sports enthusiast

She said Tony told her: "So, we lost. In truth I am crestfallen, totally devastated and very frightened.

"I fear for the future and the misery it is bound to bring.

"I suppose it was wrong of me to invest so much hope and expectation into the judgment but I really believed in the veracity of the argument and quite simply could not understand how anybody could disagree with the logic.

"I guess I forgot the emotional component."

She said Nicklinson died with his wife Jane, his daughters Beth and Lauren and his sister, Ginny, beside him.


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Chahal said the family would now step aside from further legal challenges, unless someone came forward to continue it: "They totally supported his legal action to change the law."

Chahal said it had been an "absolute privilege for me and his barrister" to have been in his legal team.

She added: "I only wish the outcome of the case could have been different during Tony's lifetime.

"I know that the right to die with dignity issues that Tony championed will not be forgotten due to the light that Tony shone on them and that this important debate will continue due to Tony.

"I know that Tony would want me to say thank you to all his supporters who gave him great comfort and strength."

tony nicklinson

A family photo of Tony Nicklinson before his stroke which left him paralysed

Nicklinson's wife Jane had previously described her husband, who was paralysed by a stroke on a trip to Athens in 2005, as "the life and soul of the party" and "an ex rugby player who worked hard and played hard."

She tweeted after his death that she had lost the love of her life.

Many politicians and campaigners have sent messages of condolence and paid tribute to his struggle, even those who were against his campaign to be able to end his life.

Paul Tully, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children's general secretary, said: "We offer our condolences to Mr Nicklinson’s family and friends.

"We note reports that his death was peaceful and while surrounded by his loved ones."