Vancouver Musician Kelly Watson-Schutz Shares Poignant Final Message
Vancouver musician Kelly Watson-Schutz, most recently drummer for punk band Sex Walkers, died Tuesday afternoon.
According to a tweet from friend Dusty Chipura, Watson-Schutz “ended her life via medically assisted suicide after 9 months trying to come back from a devastating stroke.”
On Monday, Watson-Schutz shared a poignant final message on Facebook. “I can't imagine a life without the capability to drum and for the last nine months needing 24 hour care has taken away much of who I am,” she wrote, with the help of sister Kristal.
“Much love to everyone who has had an impact on my life, you know who you are. See you all on the other side.”
Watson-Schutz suffered a massive stroke last May that left her paralyzed from the neck down and on a ventilator.
“For the first two months I could not speak and this entire time I have not been able to eat, drink, or swallow my own saliva,” she explained in her Facebook post. “My vision and my speech have been affected by the stroke.”
After a stay in the ICU of Vancouver General Hospital, Watson-Schutz was transferred to the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre.
Last November, Watson-Schutz was assessed by physicians about her eligibility for medical assistance in dying, which became law in 2016. After months of reflection, she decided to end her pain on Feb. 18.
“The amount of support given to me from family and friends is amazing and I feel incredibly loved,” she explained, “but I have been miserable everyday and lose my will to keep going a little more each day.”
Born in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Watson-Schutz moved to Montreal to learn how to be a professional makeup artist and then settled in Vancouver, where she attended film school and landed jobs doing visual effects makeup in the city’s busy film and television production scene.
"F**k I love you so much, you’re the most amazing little sister and best friend I have," Kristal Watson-Schutz shared on Facebook. "I have told you these words and I’m so proud of everything you have done from day one to till the last day you’re on this planet with us. I love you forever."
A GoFundMe campaign launched last May to help her family surpassed its $25,000 goal and, last June, friends and fellow musicians staged a fundraiser at a Vancouver pub. Canadian rocker Bif Naked shared information about both initiatives on Twitter.
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