Jade Goody put sons’ futures before health battle and how she told them she was dying

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On this day in 2009, TV personality Jade Goody sadly passed away on Mother’s Day.

The mum-of-two was just 27-years-old when she died after a battle with cervical cancer.

Whilst taking part in the Indian version of Big Brother, Jade took a personal phone call from her consultant and was told she had cancer after having previously experienced symptoms such as blood loss and pains in her leg.

Jade returned to the UK straight away and doctors told her that devastatingly, she had been suffering from cancer for the last two years and her tangerine-sized tumor had destroyed more than half of her womb.

As reported by the Mirror, the star then underwent a hysterectomy and a grueling year of chemotherapy, but quickly learned that her cancer had already spread and there was nothing more they could do.

In her last days, Jade made sure that her beloved boys, Bobby and Freddy, would be provided for.



Jade cared so much about her sons
Jade cared so much about her sons

“I just want to carry on being to the boys and to myself normal and I’m quite naive with the whole cancer thingy,” she told Phillip Schofield during an emotional interview on This Morning.

“I haven’t done any research or anything and I don’t want to know. I only know what I need to know, which is this is my medication and this is that, this is when I get better.

“I don’t want to know the ins and outs and because it’s too much for my brain to take it in. It really is.”

Jade wanted to make as much money as possible for her two sons and worked right up until her death, securing TV interviews, pictures and her own reality show.

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The mum-of-two was determined not to give up and told doctors to never tell her how serious the prognosis really was, but she received the worst news possible on Valentine’s Day in 2009.

Doctors had no choice but to tell Jade she was dying as the cancer had spread to her liver, bowel and groin.

“I couldn’t breathe when they told me. I just screamed and cried and said, ‘can’t anyone do anything to help me’,” she revealed at the time.

“A few weeks ago when they first told me the chemo hadn’t worked they said it didn’t have to be the end.

“I know they’ve done everything they can to help me and I’m grateful. But I really thought I might be OK.”

Then came the heartbreaking moment where Jade told her sons that she was dying – having decided they needed to hear the truth from her.

Along with her ex Jeff Brazier, who is the father of the boys, they co-wrote a script about how she would become a star in the sky who they would always be able to see.



Jade and Jeff wrote a script for Bobby and Freddie
Jade and Jeff wrote a script for Bobby and Freddie

Jade gently delivered the speech to her boys alone in her hospital bed while Jeff waited in a side room to comfort their sons and make sure they understood.

“She didn’t want to tell them, but she knew she had to do it because she wanted them to know the truth,” Jeff told Mail on Sunday’s You magazine.

“The thought of that always reduces me to tears. Our poor boys, Poor Jade.”

As her condition deteriorated, she and her boys were christened at the chapel in the hospital.

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At that stage, Jade was wearing a hospital gown while hooked up to a drip and was only able to stay awake for just a matter of minutes.

With the end growing close, she returned to her home in Essex, where her husband Jack slept on the floor by her bed as she drifted in and out of consciousness.

Recalling her final days, he said Jade would sometimes wake up and think she was nursing a baby and call her mum Jackie in.



Jeff Brazier and his sons Bobby and Freddie
Jeff shared both boys with his late ex-partner Jade Goody

Jack said: “She’d tell me to be quiet so I didn’t wake the baby. I used to go along with it and pretend to take the baby and call Jackie in and pretend to give the baby to her.

“I’d then ask Jade whether she was OK and she’d say: ‘Yes that’s fine, now I can sleep.'”

In her final days, Jade barely had the strength to stay awake but her devotion to her son’s was still strong.

Just 48 hours before she passed away, as Jade was drifting in and out of consciousness, she heard her son Bobby, then five, crying in his sleep.

With an incredible strength of will, and against the advice of her doctors, Jade managed to haul herself out of bed to go to her son.

She bravely put Bobby on her back and climbed the stairs with him, with close friend Kevin Adams telling The Sun: “She wasn’t eating and the doctor said her health was deteriorating rapidly.

“But that night Jade got up, walked upstairs and pulled [Bobby] up onto her back and brought him to her hospital bed.

“The next day I told the doctor what had happened and she said, ‘no Jade doesn’t have the strength to do that because everything in her body is failing’.

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“I told her that I saw it with my own eyes. She was able to do it because those kids meant everything to her. That memory will live with me forever, it is so special to me.”

Sadly, Jade died in her sleep in the early hours of March 22, but her incredible legacy has lived on with the number of women having smear tests increasing by 12 per cent following her death.

Last year, Jeff opened up about how he’s dealt with Mother’s Day since Jade’s death.

Speaking on his podcast Only Human, Jeff explained that he feels a sense of responsibility for helping the two navigate their grief on a day like Mother’s Day.



Jade with her sons Bobby and Freddie
Jade with her sons Bobby and Freddie

“Talking about the subject has made me feel emotional,” he said. “I’ve got two boys that are really going to be missing their mum from her today. They miss her every day.

“My vulnerability in this moment right now is that I, as a parent of two children that lost their mum, I have got the responsibility on my shoulders of guiding them through the day.

“But then I remind myself that it’s not on me, it’s not on anyone really, it just is what it is.”

Jeff also discussed how he approached Bobby and Freddie’s first Christmas without mum Jade there – making it “as special as he could.”

“There was maybe extra presents, extra food, sweets, cakes everything was extra,” he said.

“But what I was missing was the reality that you can’t make that day special… It’s a reminder that someone isn’t there.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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