Nia Sims with Victorian Health Minister, Jill Hennessy and the VAD bill.
Nia Sims, 43, has been living with a severe form of the rare autoimmune disease scleroderma since she was 23. Nia was initially told it was likely she would die within five years of her diagnosis. 20 years later, she is still alive, but her journey has been painful and uncertain at times. Nia Sims was in the public gallery when the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on September 20. Despite her own struggles, the main reason Nia Sims is advocating for for the voluntary assistyed dying to be passed into law comes from the pain she still feels from watching her father, Greg, suffer in the latter stages of brain cancer 12 years ago. Nia Sims, worked with Go Gentle Australia on the creation of the short film, called Stop the Horror.
Stop The Horror follows the final three weeks of Greg Sims’ life in 2005, as he lies in a hospital bed, experiencing unbearable pain and suffering from the end stage of terminal brain cancer. It graphically depicts the distress and trauma of his family as they watch him deteriorate. Go Gentle Australia says “Despite the best available palliative care, there are terminally ill Australians, like Greg, who die every week in uncontrollable pain and suffering”. GGA describe the short movie as too graphic for an under-18 audience.
Channel 10 program The Project interviewed Andrew Denton, co-director of Go Gentle Australia, about their harrowing 5 min video Stop The Horror. Below is their interview with Denton and with Nia Sims, as posted on The Project Facebook page. Although it includes only a very short excerpt from Stop The Horror, some viewers may find certain scenes or images distressing.
Click for article in The Age ‘Right-to-die campaign’s horror movie is designed to be virtually unwatchable’ on 14 September 2017.
Radio 3AW Mornings with Neil Mitchell interviewed Nia Sims, Greg’s daughter, about the harrowing experience of watching her father die in pain (17.43 mins)
Click for the Star Weekly article 2 October 2017 ‘Nia’s death vote plea’