Casualty actress posts heartbreaking Facebook message about caring for her dying husband

Holly Matthews opens up about "grieving" over terminal illness

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Former Doctors and Waterloo Road actress Holly Matthews has taken to Facebook to speak about her devastation at having to watch her cancer-stricken husband die.

For the past month, the Geordie star, 32, has been caring for Ross Blair at Myton Hospice in Warwick as he battles against a brain tumour.

Despite having two major operations, as well as radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Ross’s health has deteriorated rapidly.

And Holly has posted a heartbreaking message to her fans, telling of her grief at witnessing her beloved partner’s final days.

“What a [expletive] up reality to be waiting for one of the people you love most in the whole world to die, and even hoping that it will come soon,” she started.

“That is a weird space to be in, but a space that I and his family are living in.

“Grieving before they have gone, waiting for the last breath, half knowing it’s best if it is, half relieved when it’s not.

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“None of this feels real at all and I keep having moments of ‘What the [expletive]?! How did we even get here?!’

“And I have to drag my mind into the now and deal with it.”

When property developer Ross, 32, was first diagnosed with the rare grade-4 primitive neuroectodermal tumour (PNET) in 2014, doctors gave him just a 50/50 chance of surviving for another five years.

And although he initially responded well to treatment, a 2016 scan revealed that the tumour had grown.

Specialists managed to remove 75 per cent of the cancer, and in May this year, Ross, Holly and their two daughters, Brooke, six, and Texas, four, were able to jet off for a Caribbean holiday.

However, upon their return, Ross suffered a seizure and is now being cared for at Myton, where Holly spends day and night at her husband’s bedside.

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“Nearly a month on, living in Myton Hospice and my amazing husband is still holding on,” her post continued.

“Of course he’s now in a deep sleep, not eating, drinking, or conscious of his surroundings, but his strong body is fighting for him and sadly at this stage it is kind of working against him.

“He’s comfortable and looks peaceful, and we have all accepted that he will go when he goes, and we have no control over that.

“We were warned this bit can be prolonged and hard on the family, and I have felt that at times over the last week.

“I’ve cried a whole heap this week, but I feel better for it and today and yesterday have focused my mind on calm and being productive.

“The hospice is a very calming and protected space. I haven’t left for over a week and even then it was only for an hour.

“I am cocooned in here and I know the harder place will be when I’m out in the ‘real world’, where people dare to continue on with their lives, as if nothing has happened (how dare they, hey?!) and I have to move forward.

“The support behind me is incredible and I feel every kind gesture and message.

“My beautiful daughters are doing great and I love them so much.

“Today I got my big girl pants firmly on, and I’m going to deal with everything that comes.

“Thank you. Peace.”

Holly, who has also starred in Byker Grove and Doctors, was diagnosed with meningitis when she was seven years old, and her daughter Brooke also had it as a baby, before making a recovery.

A JustGiving page she’s set up to raise money for Myton Hospice has so far fetched around £7,000 in donations.

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