Today’s This Morning had viewers and its hosts in tears when Simon Thomas was interviewed about the passing of his wife.
Appearing on the show (27 February) Simon, 45, spoke to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield about his late wife, Gemma, who he lost in November. As if that wasn’t heartbreaking enough, she passed away within three days of being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
Holly, 37, started by expressing condolences by saying ‘how sorry we are for your loss,’ after her sudden death.
Speaking about his own anxiety and depression he’d been off work with, Simon’s first signs for concern were Gemma having headaches and extreme fatigue, and becoming bed-bound.
‘I had a lot of anger toward our GP initially,’ Simon expressed, but revealed that even if they’d caught the disease a day earlier it wouldn’t have made a difference.
During the detailed interview, the Sky Sports presenter chatted openly about how it feels and the devastation over losing a loved one. But it was when he recounted the day she died and had to tell his young son, Ethan, 8, the painfully sad news that Gemma had passed away that reduced everyone to tears.
Despite being given a 50-50 survival chance, her health suddenly deteriorated: ‘She’d been perfectly fine the night before,’ he recalled, after blood test results appeared ‘encouraging’.
‘I never even had the chance to say goodbye,’ an emotional Simon confessed.
‘The toughest challenged any parent could ever face was having to tell your son,’ Holly bravely asked.
‘I came out the hospital and I think I woke up every patient there as I screamed to God “Why, why have you left my boy without a mum?”‘
He recalls how his ‘heart was ‘pounding’ as he traveled home to tell the sad news to his son the horrible news, who was surrounded by family.
‘I looked into his deep brown eyes and I just said “Ethan, I’m really sorry but they couldn’t make mummy better and you can’t dress it up: I just said “Mummy’s died.” He collapsed onto the floor, and I collapsed with him and I just held him. I held him and I rolled on the floor with him.’
It was all almost too much for Simon who was bravely retelling the harrowing moment, but also for Holly who began to cry.
‘He’s been dealt a really tough, tough blow in life, and at the age of eight to have lost his mum already – that’s what I found the most heartbreaking.’
‘We’re too scared of saying anything,’ he says, when people around him didn’t know what to say to him in regards to dealing with grief.
Moments later Phil, 55, began sobbing as he went silent when talking about raising funds for leukemia ‘when the time is right.’
For more information on the disease, click here.