In Her Final Days, California Woman With Lou Gehrig’s Disease Fights for ‘a More Dignified and Peaceful Death’

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ALS patient Angie Bloomquist is cared for by Estella Ganuza, left, her morning caretaker and a licensed vocational nurse, and Joy Hawkins, a certified home health aide, in her San Pedro home. Bloomquist wants the state to let her die through doctor-prescribed medication. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

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The dishes she used to scrub after each family dinner pile up by the sink. The husband who sweetly called her his trophy wife cries alone in the room where he now sleeps. The 11-year-old son with big brown eyes who once cuddled on her lap now hardly comes near her.

She can’t move. She can’t talk. She can only blink her eyes.

Angie Bloomquist was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis less than two years ago. Since then, the fatal illness known as Lou Gehrig’s disease has shut down just about every muscle in her body. The toll on her family has been almost as devastating.

“It’s like a tornado ripped through our home,” Angie says. “And destroyed everything we built.”

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