sandra day oconnor dementia

A sad announcement was just made by Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to ever be appointed to the United States Supreme Court, that has Americans everywhere praying for her.

Fox News reported that O’Connor, 88, released a statement on Tuesday explaining that she is retiring from public life because she is in the “beginning stages of dementia, probably Alzheimer’s.”

O’Connor was appointed to the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan back in 1981, and she remained on it before she retired in 2005 so that she could spend more time with her husband John O’Connor II, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He passed away in 2009, the same year that she founded iCivics, an organization that aims to teach children about civics through online games. In her letter, O’Connor expressed her sadness that she will no longer be able to lead this organization “due to my physical condition.”

O’Connor reveals what’s next for her.

O’Connor went on to say that she will be spending her remaining years with her family in Phoenix, Arizona. She made it clear that she is proud of all that she has accomplished in her life for the American people.

“While the final chapter of my life with dementia may be trying, nothing has diminished my gratitude and deep appreciation for the countless blessings in my life,” she wrote. “How fortunate I feel to be an American and to have been presented with the remarkable opportunities available to the citizens of our country.”

We’ve lost many others to Alzheimer’s.

To lose a brilliant mind like O’Connor’s to dementia and Alzheimer’s is incredibly sad. We’ve already lost far too many people to these diseases, including singer Glen Campbell last year. While we are saddened to hear this news, we also want to applaud O’Connor for approaching this situation with her characteristic grace and dignity. Please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers!

“As a young cowgirl from the Arizona desert, I never could have imagined that one day I would become the first woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court,” O’Connor wrote in her letter. “I hope that I have inspired young people about civic engagement and helped pave the pathway for women who may have faced obstacles pursuing their careers.”

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