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Saturday 11th July 2020

Leah Bracknell's husband pays heartbreaking tribute to his late wife

Leah had been fighting a 3-year battle with lung cancer.

Former Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell's husband says his heart is "truly broken" following her death.

Jez Hughes is suffering from "intense" pain following the loss of his wife, who passed away in September aged 55 following a three-year battle with lung cancer, and he has thanked fans for their heartfelt tributes to the late actress.

Leah was well known for her role in Emmerdale and sadly passed away in September (Credit: ITV)

Read More: Ex- Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell reveals four doctors missed her cancer before her tragic death

Referring to Leah by her real name Ali, he wrote on Facebook: "Thank you everyone for all your kind words, prayers and love. They mean the world to me at this time and I apologise that I can't respond individually as I haven't the words in me right now.

"My darling wife, best friend and soul mate flies free in spirit.

"I have been the luckiest man in the world to spend time walking, dancing, laughing, praying, dreaming, singing, drumming, talking, travelling, crying, planning, hoping, loving, going wild, exploring, rebelling, forgiving, celebrating, playing, sharing secrets at dawn, opening hearts, minds and soul - alongside a woman of such depth, power, humour, humility, honour, intelligence and love - it is impossible to do justice to with the transient, flimsy power of words.

Read More: Emmerdale's Natalie J Robb explains why she's still single 

My heart is truly broken and the pain is intense.

"Ali is the bravest person I've ever met and she faced the last three years of cancer with dignity, grace and light. She shone bright in this world with fire in her heart and water in her soul. The great mystery of existence always visible through her beautiful eyes.

"My heart is truly broken and the pain is intense as I wander aimlessly, waiting to awake from this dream, from hour to hour, day to day.

"My only prayer is that through the burning down of everything that I hold sacred and precious, through this raw, primal, timeless wound, something else will arise and I am able to embody just a little of Ali's grace, bravery, tenacity, and lightness, in order to serve her legacy well in the world. (sic)"

Read More: Emmerdale pays touching tribute to Leah Bracknell following her death 

Jez enjoys hearing stories from people who were helped by Leah - who played Zoe Tate in Emmerdale - admitting they bring him "warmth".

He added: "She inspired and changed the lives of so many, loved ones and strangers alike. Every day I learn of more people who she helped which brings the warmth of pride and gratitude to have known her into my heart.

"She taught me more than I'm able to comprehend and we shared more than I dreamt was possible in this life. More than either of us thought was possible."

Leah's death was confirmed last week.

Read More: FIRST LOOK: Next week's Emmerdale in 10 pictures 

A statement from her manager read: "It is with the deepest sadness that Leah Bracknell's family confirm that Leah passed away in September, three years after her diagnosis with stage four lung cancer.

"They would like to thank all the public for their support and generosity which contributed to the extension and quality of her life over the past three years.

"Leah continued to embrace life and faced her illness with positivity. Many aspects of her journey can be found on her blog."

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