My wife Deborah James was paralyzed in the last days of her life – I slept next to her holding her hand before she slipped away.

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

LADY Deborah’s husband James said that in the last days of his life, his wife was “paralyzed from the waist down” and slipped away holding his hand.

The TV hero died at the age of 40 in June after a five-year battle with stage four bowel cancer.

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Deborah James pictured with her husband Sebastian Bowen in the last days of her life during a day together.Credit: baby gut/Instagram

In the last seven weeks of her life alone, she accomplished more than most of us in a lifetime, raising a staggering £7.4 million for charity and capturing the hearts of the nation.

But her husband, Sebastian Bowen, said her final days at Deborah’s parents’ home in Woking were far from easy, with the entire family rallying to help.

In a touching interview with The Times, Sebastian told how his 14-year-old son Hugo combed his mom’s hair, and 12-year-old Eloise brought her drinks.

He said that Deborah was no longer able to perform simple tasks such as getting food in the kitchen or “cleaning or getting dressed”.

And the father of two said his wife became “so weak” and “disillusioned” because she was “extremely independent.”

He explained, “Eventually she was paralyzed from the waist down and had to fight a psychological battle with the reality of her new handicap.”

But he said it was his late wife’s “inner strength” in these last weeks that ensured the couple could still experience “some of the most mind-blowing, magical days of our lives.”

Sebastien, a banker, stopped working to spend as much time with Deborah as possible after she stopped active treatment and began receiving care at the end of her life.

He described how he slept next to her and held her hand for two days before she died, adding that she “wasn’t really around.”

“On Tuesday, her eyes opened and she returned to the room for a moment,” he explained.

“And then she disappeared for 15 minutes, and her sister, mother and father also surrounded her.”

Deborah, a former vice principal, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 before launching the You, Me and the Big C podcast to raise awareness of the disease.

Sebastian and his children were supported by Deborah’s parents and brother and sister as they took care of her during those final days, which Sebastian said were among the most “magical” together.

He told The Times: “People who didn’t know Debs saw her getting weaker and weaker in these last weeks. But mentally it was the other way around.

“By fighting the fire of adversity, she grew stronger, and in my eyes, it made her more and more radiant every day.

“I never loved her more. She knew what was happening to her, but she was still able to find those magical moments.”

The furious activist raised a staggering £7.4m to fund cancer research before she died, became a lady and invited Prince William for tea.

She and her husband have spent the last weeks together reading poetry, watching their favorite movies and enjoying the weekends, including visiting the Chelsea Flower Show.

The family even had to “maniacally” clean up after being warned that the Duke of Cambridge was to pay them a visit.

The duke, who lost his own mother, Princess Diana, when he was only 15 years old, gave Deborah’s two children “powerful advice” on how to deal with grief, according to Sebastian.

He also joked that Deborah was “triple parked” when he came to visit, as Debs had a glass of wine, a glass of champagne and a glass of sherry in front of her.

Despite being unable to walk unaided, Deborah found the strength to launch a clothing line, she designed charity T-shirts to raise another £1 million for her BowelBabe foundation, and managed to complete her second book, How to Live. when you should die.” all in her final weeks.

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Dame Debs flanked by her husband, Hugo and Eloise after receiving the title of dame from Prince William.Credit: Graham Prentice

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Sebastien said that the last days of taking care of Deborah brought the family closer.Credit: see signature

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The family lived with Deborah’s parents in Woking during the last weeks of her life.1 credit

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The Sun columnist has accomplished more in the last seven weeks of her life than most people do in a lifetime.Credit: baby gut/Instagram

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Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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