Jean-Christophe Novelli has had a really tough few months.
Not only has he been keeping a bedside vigil for his poor cancer stricken son Valentino, he has also had to deal with the fact that his gorgeous fiancee almost died herself.
Michelle Kennedy has revealed that she developed deep vein thrombosis which caused a deadly blood clot in her leg.
Medics believe it came about because she had refused to leave her son’s isolation room while he underwent chemo and as a result the clot began to build.
Michelle noticed that something was wrong when she collapsed in front of her best friend Kerrie Duggan and her two other children.
“I’d spent a rare evening at home with my older children while Jean-Christophe insisted on staying in hospital with Valentino,” Michelle told the Mirror.
“It was his birthday the next day but he thought I was exhausted.
“Kerrie stayed overnight while I cuddled up in bed with my boys.
“I woke with the most agonising pain in my leg and saw that it had swollen to four times its normal size. I staggered through to the bedroom where Kerrie was sleeping.
Then, she said, she passed out and awoke again at 5am “feeling strange”. Her leg was really numb but she said she assumed it was because the boys had slept on her.
“Then I saw how swollen it was,” she continued.
“I was drifting in and out of consciousness. The boys were crying and I told them Mummy needed to get her leg fixed, then she’d be fine.”
Meanwhile, TV chef Jean-Christophe was watching all of this happen in a CCTV link from their home to his phone while he sat with his poorly son.
“I felt helpless but there was nothing I could do as I couldn’t leave Valentino,” he said. “I was completely torn. I tried not to think about the prospect of losing them both. I couldn’t go to that place in my head because it was too painful.
“It’s only now I realise just how close Michelle came and it doesn’t bear thinking about.”
Michelle’s clot had formed below her knee and travelled to her spine, and, had it reached her lungs, could have killed her in mere minutes.
To save her life, Michelle was told she needed an operation to widen the veins on her legs, which she had under a local anaesthetic so that she coddle see her son again quickly.
Michelle said: “I could still feel everything and it was the worst pain I have experienced. But it was worth it because Valentino needed me.”
Meanwhile, their son Valentino continues to undergo chemo,
There’s still a long way to go for Valentino.
Back in January Jean-Christophe and Michelle were told that four bouts of chemo had failed which meant they weere left with no option other than to opt for the most aggressive form of chemo.
“Of course we agreed to let Valentino have treatment. What else could we do?” Michelle said
“But we still felt awful at putting him through such pain. I’d watched older children on the ward go through it and they’d wake crying in agony. It was hard to imagine what it would do to our boy’s tiny body.