Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The heartbreaking story of teacher, who starved herself to death six years after she was paralysed. So her boyfriend could move on.
'I loved him too much to be selfish': The heartbreaking story of teacher, 24, who starved herself to death six years after she was paralysed. So he could move on.
When she woke on June 4, 2005, Christina Symanski had been looking forward to an evening spent with friends, cousins and her new boyfriend - taking advantage of her aunt's empty house.
But the 24-year-old from Linden, New Jersey had not foreseen what she later regarded as a lapse in judgement. In the early hours of the morning, she dove into a shallow pool, leaving her paralysed.
Six years and scores of blog posts about her ordeal later, Christina has died - starving herself so she would no longer be a burden on her family, and so that her boyfriend could finally move on.
Christina, a former teacher who blogged about her frustration at being unable to do anything herself, had hoped that she would die within two weeks of stopping eating.
During a stint in a nursing home, she had met a fellow quadriplegic who stopped eating and drinking and died of an infection two weeks later.
But the process was much more grueling for Christina - who died two months after her last meal of sausage stuffing with walnuts. She had stopped taking medication and only drank sips of water.
She died in the arms of her mother, Louise Ruoff, fulfilling her earlier promise: 'I was with you the day you came into the world and I will be with you when you leave it.'
Christina, who died aged 31, told her mother she no longer wanted to live an intolerable life in which she was reliant on her mother and younger half-sister Kati.
After her death in December, a friend updated Christina's blog with her final entry.
'It's hard for my loved ones to accept, but I feel like my life has come to a point where just living, equates to physical, and emotional suffering,' she wrote.
Christina Symanski on her blog - www.lifeparalyzed.blogspot.com