As someone who is passionate about helping people who are living with dementia, I was really sad, and quite shocked, to hear about the death of Sir Terry Pratchett at just 66 years of age. Sir Terry had been diagnosed with dementia, eight years ago, following an initial suspicion that he had had a stroke. Unfortunately however, Sir Terry turned out, more seriously, to have an uncommon form of early onset Alzheimer’s, known as Posterior Corticol Atrophy.
Sir Terry was best known as the writer of the fantasy Discworld series, and had produced over 40 books in that particular series; the last one being completed as recently as the Summer of 2014. In total however, Sir Terry was the author of over 70 books, including books for children. His books were translated into many languages and enjoyed success worldwide. Indeed unsurprisingly, Sir Terry gained his knighthood for services to Literature. His determination, creativity and his prolific amount of writing were all impossible to ignore!
As an avid bibliophile myself, and having two degrees in Literature, I greatly admire Sir Terry’s outstanding talents and huge achievements. My life would be so empty and would have an unfillable void without my books. Without authors like Sir Terry, producing rich material for our imaginations, our lives would undoubtedly be missing an essential dimension, arguably as precious as the air that we breathe.
Sir Terry’s passions evidently ran deep throughout many areas of his life, as he had been a keen campaigner for the Right to Die and an advocate for Dignitas. Additionally, he campaigned tirelessly for dementia and raising the public’s awareness. As shown in the photograph above, Sir Terry even managed to carry on writing while living with dementia. What a positive image of hope and inspiration for people living with dementia.
Sir Terry died a natural death at home on the 12th March. He was apparently surrounded by his family and had his cat asleep on his bed. The family’s grief must be so profound and hard to bear, but how proud they must feel, and what comfort they can take, from Terry Pratchett’s immense achievements and effects upon the world.
A Just Giving page was set up in his memory. Donations are for the Research Institute for the Care of Older People. It can be accessed at: