Ex -Emmerdale star Roxanne Pallett has told how a fire ripped through her house and almost killed her mother.
The actress, who played Jo Sugden in the soap between 2005 and 2009, was 16 when her family home when up in flames.
Roxanne and her grandmother were dragged out of the burning building, but to Roxanne’s horror, her mum, Monica was still inside.
Describing the moment she realised what was happening to the Daily Star Sunday, Roxanne said:
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“I could hear the paramedics saying, ‘The third party hasn’t been found yet’ – and that was my mum.
“Hearing that sentence actually damaged me more than the fire did.
“You imagine in that position you would panic and scream. But I was numb. It was like I had a ton of bricks on my chest.”
Roxanne added that she “got a taste of what it would feel like to lose a parent. Something like that changes your outlook on everything.”
Thankfully, her mum, now 61, was rescued from the fire. She was treated in intensive care for smoke inhalation for many weeks, and as she lay in her hospital bed, Roxanne was fearful she wouldn’t make it.
“My mum was found inches from the fire so her injuries were far more damaging than mine – the doctors were preparing me for the worst. I was dreading losing her,” the musical theatre star explained.
“I felt like I was losing control of my normality. My life went from colour to black and white very quickly. It was like being in a bad dream.”
Revealing that she turned to religion to help her get through, Roxanne said:
“It was a blur of emotions. I felt powerless. It felt like I was being held underwater. It was then I started praying.
“I’d never been religious, but I was praying and thinking, ‘If anybody can hear me, please don’t take my mum’.”
Roxanne helped her mum on the road to recovery and cared for her when she came out of hospital.
The fact she could have lost her forever isn’t lost on the actress and she had big Mother’s Day plans for Monica including “lunch and some pampering”.
But perhaps the biggest tribute she’s made is her recent tattoo. She was seen with the inking, which reads ‘Amoowa’, on display earlier this week and it’s thought that’s the pet name she has for her mum.
Roxanne revealed the fire brought her and her mum closer, and she often pays tribute to Monica on social media.
opening up about how the fire changed things for them, she said: “My mum was very vulnerable. She couldn’t speak very well, she couldn’t see very well. So there was a role reversal. I became the strong one.
“That was the making of me – in a position like that you can sink or swim.
“I held on to my mum from that moment on. My gran had died by then so I thought, ‘My mum is all I’ve got now’.
“We’d always been close but after that we became inseparable.”
Sounds like they’ve got an unbreakable bond.