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Tony Nicklinson’s First Tweet

June 15, 2012

A man with locked-in syndrome has joined Twitter and sent his first tweet – “Hello world”.

Tony Nicklinson, who seven years ago had a major stroke that left his body completely paralysed, used special eye movement technology to access the social networking site. He is also approaching the high court to allow him to lawfully end his life.

Under the username @TonyNicklinson, he wrote: “Hello world. I am tony nicklinson, I have locked-in syndrome and this is my first ever tweet.”

After less than 24 hours, his account had almost 2,500 followers.

Nicklinson, 57, can only communicate by using a computer that follows his eye movements. Software converts his eye movement into the letters of the alphabet and in turn into words and speech.

Channel 4’s Dispatches captured the moment on film ahead of a programme about Nicklinson’s life to be broadcast on Monday 18 June at 8pm.

The same day Nicklinson and his family, who live in Melksham, Wiltshire, will go to the high court to argue that a doctor should be allowed lawfully to end his life.

Nicklinson sums up his life as “dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable”.

Nicklinson suffered a stroke in 2005 while on a business trip to Athens. He is asking the court to grant declarations that a doctor could intervene to end his “indignity”, with his consent and with him making the decision with full mental capacity, and have a “common law defence of necessity” against any murder charge.

Nicklinson has two grown-up daughters and had an active life before the stroke.

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