How to get my story on the front page: Talk to the Press client Lindsey Briggs’ heartbreaking story goes front page on Sunday Mirror after public legal battle to end her husband’s life
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Mum-of-one Lindsey Briggs found herself inundated with press attention last year while she publicly battled to withdraw her 43-year-old husband Paul’s treatment after a motorcycle crash left him in a vegetative state.
Knowing her husband of 17 years would hate to be kept alive in such a way, the mum to Ella, 5, took legal action to effectively let him die.
Yesterday, the Talk to the Press client’s story of her heartbreaking fight appeared on the front page in the Sunday Mirror and as a spread inside the Mail on Sunday.
Lindsey, who’s a medical PA, first contacted TTTP deputy editor Amy in July 2015 when her husband, gulf war veteran and policeman Paul, was left comatose after he was knocked from his motorbike while on duty.
While the driver responsible for the crash was jailed in July 2016, for Lindsey and Ella, who live on The Wirral, their nightmare was to carry on far longer.
Left in a vegetative state, unable to move or speak and undergoing invasive medical procedures to keep him alive, Paul was a shell of the man Lindsey married and she knew beyond doubt her husband would never have wanted to be kept alive this way.
But because she and Paul had never officially stated this in an Advance Directive before the crash, the mum had to take legal action for these wishes to be granted.
In July 2016, Amy worked with Lindsey to place her story – in which she urged other couples to make Advance Directives – in the Sunday Mirror and Chat and Woman’s Own magazines.
The following month, having watched Paul spend a year spent in a coma with no sign of improvement, Lindsey, a medical PA, took legal action against the Official Solicitor in a bid to let her husband die.
During her public five-month battle, Lindsey was inundated with press requests. She reached out to Amy for help with managing the attention and arranging interviews for when the hearing was over.
Amy was there to liaise with the newspapers, magazines and TV journalists directly so Lindsey could fully concentrate on her husband’s case and caring for her daughter.
This meant that, rather than worrying about responding to requests and risking her comments on Paul’s case being taken out of context, Lindsey referred all requests to Amy who dealt with them.
On December 20, the judge ruled in her favour and agreed invasive treatment would be stopped and Paul would be transferred to a hospice in the coming weeks.
Having won her case, the mum wanted to share her side of the story and turned to Amy to manage this.
In an effort to ensure Lindsey’s story reached as many people as possible, Amy placed joint exclusive interviews with the Sunday Mirror and Mail on Sunday.
Given Paul’s hearing was made public, there had previously been lots of media discussion about his case. Speaking to these two papers gave Lindsey the chance to speak candidly about Paul and comment on the legal constraints that had prevented her doing ‘the right thing by her husband’.
Amy made sure that Lindsey was given a full readback and pre-agreed fees on both pieces before they were published.
Following its publication last weekend, story has sparked huge discussion about who should decide what is best for a person when they do not have the ability to do so: their loved-ones or the state.
Now, we are working closely with Lindsey with regards to further media, while making sure she is not bombarded by journalists’ requests at a time when she deserves to concentrate on her family.
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