A north-east woman is calling for the law barring assisted suicide to be changed to allow her to die “with dignity”.
Pearl Cameron, from Banchory, had a heart transplant 23 years ago after doctors discovered she had restrictive cardiomyopathy, meaning the pump in her heart wasn’t working.
The operation gave the gran a new lease of life and inspired her to live each day like it was her last.
Since then the 68-year-old has tried everything from climbing and canoeing, kayaking to deep sea diving.
But her condition is such that her new heart could fail at any time and she has to take a cocktail of 30 pills a day to keep her alive.
Mrs Cameron relies on the drugs to keep the new heart ticking and to stop her body rejecting it.
If she stops taking the pills, her heart could fail. If she misses a dose, her heart could fail. And there are side effects.
Her body no longer makes adrenaline, so she needs pills to help with simple tasks such as opening her eyes in the morning.
And she also has to take medication to stop her immune system attacking her heart because it is a foreign body.
However because she is now also experiencing pre-cancerous tumours as a result of the steroids, she has to reduce her intake to treat them which puts her at high risk of heart failure.
Now she is concerned that she could be left bed-ridden and racked in pain and wants to have the right to end her life.
“I’ve lived my life to the full and never let anything hold me back,” she said.
“So I don’t want to be remembered lying in bed and in agony. I want to be remembered as Pearl Cameron, the woman who never gave up until the very end – and who died with dignity.”
The mum of three is supporting a campaign being launched by Dignity in Dying Scotland next month, which aims to fight for the right to assisted dying for people living with terminal illness.
Mrs Cameron hopes to see a law passed on this by the time her new heart starts to give up.