A woman who survived the 2016 Islamic State terror attack at Brussels airport chose to die by euthanasia because of the severe PTSD and depression she suffered after the attack.
Shanti Di Corte, 23, was at Zaventem airport in Belgium on a school trip to Italy with her classmates on March 22, 2016, when the bomb exploded.
Along with two other explosions, the Islamic State attack claimed 32 lives that day. Shanti managed to escape without any physical injuries.
But the then 17-year-old experienced bouts of dark depression and constant panic attacks after that day at the Belgian airport and eventually began to feel suicidal.
He attended a psychiatric hospital in Antwerp, Belgium – where he is from – and began taking anti-depressant medication.
But the psychological impact of the attack left such a mark on her that she attempted suicide twice, once in 2018 and then again in 2020.
And then, earlier this year, Shanti chose to be euthanized, which is legal in Belgium, Belgian network VRT reports. He died on May 7 after two psychiatrists approved the request.
Shanti’s mother, Marielle, shared her story with the news agency, describing the pain her daughter felt after being at the airport when the bombs went off.
“He didn’t want to go anywhere where other people were, out of fear,” Marielle said. “He also had frequent panic attacks and never got over it.”
Shanti wrote about her ordeal on social media, in a post saying: “I’m taking some medicine for breakfast. And up to 11 antidepressants a day. I couldn’t live without it.
“With all the drugs I take, I feel like a ghost who can’t feel anything anymore.”
Her school psychologist told RTBF: “There are some students who react worse than others to traumatic events. And after interviewing her twice, I can tell you that Shanti De Corte was one of those fragile students.”
She wanted doctors to euthanize her because of her “unbearable psychiatric pain,” according to RTBF.
According to the report following Shanti’s death, she was euthanized on May 7 surrounded by her family.
In her latest social media post, Shanti wrote: “I was laughing and crying. Until the last day. I loved and was allowed to feel what true love is.
“Now I will leave in peace. Know that I miss you already.”
Prosecutors in Antwerp launched an investigation after neurologist Paul Deltenre from the UZC Brugman academic clinical hospital filed several complaints saying the decision to euthanize Shanti was made “prematurely”.
Belgium’s Federal Commission for the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia had no concerns about Shanti’s case.
However, the RTBF said Deltenre argued there was still care and treatment available that Shanti had not tried.