Dame Deborah James’ husband has spoken for the first time of his grief since her death.
Sebastian Bowen said he held the podcast host and broadcaster’s hand as she passed away and told her how proud he was of her after she raised £7.4 million for cancer research through her BowelBabe campaign.
The banker, who married Dame Deborah, 40, in 2008, told The Sun on Friday night (05.08.22): “I kissed her on the head, I told her how much I loved her, that I would look after the kids and the last thing I said to her was that I was so proud of her. Then she slipped away.
“She had an incredibly peaceful death, if there was a way to die well, then she managed it.
“At the very end, it was quite spiritual.”
In the last seven weeks of her life alone Deborah was made a Dame and had the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, over for tea at her parents’ home to accept the honour.
On top of the millions she raised for cancer research, she also launch a clothing line, designing charity T-shirts to raise another £1 million for her BowelBabe Fund after being diagnosed with incurable bowel cancer.
She spent the five-and-a-half years in the wake of the news telling anyone who would listen to “Check your poo!”, with the ex-deputy headmaster spending almost every minute until her death raising awareness and campaigning.
Sebastian, 42, who had children Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12, with the broadcaster, added: “I’m in total awe of Debs, I’m in awe of what she did and how she went about it.”
Asked what he would miss the most about his wife of almost 14 years, he added: “It’s her magic, her way of finding joy in every moment – even in the darkest of times. That’s what I’ll miss most, it’s quite a rare thing.
“It was at the very core of what made her unique.”
Deborah was given days to live when she was diagnosed but refused to give in until May 9, when she shared a post online saying she had left hospital and was no longer having treatment for her cancer.