When Mary O’Neill, 83, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, her son, Sean O’Saly, 44, took her around the world for a year and a half.
Before leaving this world, Mary saw South Africa, Italy and Nepal. According to O’Saley, he wanted the last months of his mother’s life to be the best.
Thanks to Sean, Mary was able to walk on the sands of South Africa, hike the mountains of Italy and even take part in a festival of colors in Nepal before her death in 2021.
Mary was diagnosed in 2015 at the age of 77. Then Sean lived in Rome. He says his late mother is “the best thing that happened in his life”.
“I thought Alzheimer’s was irreversible, but when we got to Nepal, his abilities started to recover,” Sean said. – She walked more and talked more, she even learned new words. »
In Nepal, mother and son loved it. “We walked along the lake and watched the children play,” says Sean. – They came, sat with us in a cafe and talked with her all the time, and she with them.
I took her comb with me and the children combed her. We were there during the Holi festival of colors when colored powder is thrown into the air.
After Nepal in April 2018, Sean took Mary to his apartment in Rome. “She recognized Rome because I had taken her to my house several times before,” Sean said. “There, she had favorite restaurants and small churches that she loved. »
In July, when it was too hot in Rome, mother and son left for the mountains of Umbria. “She was very happy with the cows and goats with bells around their necks. »
Mary died on May 24, 2021 in South Africa from a lung infection. “At the end, she called me daddy sometimes and I really felt like a parent,” Sean said. “When she died, I felt like I had lost my little girl. »
According to Sean, he enjoyed spending a lot of time with his mother during his final months.