Rob Delaney on losing his two-year-old son to cancer and the great care the NHS gave

Rob Delaney has opened up about the treatment his family received by the NHS after his late son was diagnosed with a brain tumour [Photo: Getty]

Rob Delaney has praised the NHS for the amazing treatment his two-year-old son, Henry, received before his tragic death from cancer.

Henry died at home in January 2018 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour two years earlier.

In a column for The Guardian, offering his support for Labour in the general election, the 42-year-old actor says he believes he was only able to be at home because the NHS had turned him and his wife into “expert carers” and Great Ormond Street’s palliative care team had set the family up so well.

He also praised NHS staff for the care they gave the family following his son’s diagnosis.

“I remember with joy the first time a nurse said, ‘I think Henry is ready to go up on the roof,’ and we left the paediatric intensive care unit, and Henry felt sunlight and wind on his skin for the first time in months,” he wrote.

“A couple of months later, another wonderful nurse said, ‘Think Henry’d like to take a taxi and go see his room and toys at home?’ Boy, did he. We were so happy,” he continued.

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The ‘Catastrophe’ star said how touched he was after counting “13 NHS nurses at Henry’s memorial service. A doctor and one of his home carers too.”

The NHS was there to support the family when his wife, Leah, went on to have another baby, too.

“Unlike in the US where home births are usually denied to women by their private insurance companies (you’re free to pay thousands out of your own pocket if you can afford it), the NHS was happy to facilitate one,” he wrote.

“Thus, our new little nugget entered the world in a pool at home, with my wife assisted by a midwife, me and our two older boys. They had seen hell with Henry, and when they asked if they could be present at the new one’s birth, we said, ‘Absolutely.’ This was made possible by the NHS,” he wrote of the arrival.

While the dad was full of praise for the family’s NHS experience, Delaney also recognised there were “horror stories,” which the actor attributed to underfunding.

“One massive reason I’m such an NHS cheerleader, even in these bleak times, is because I grew up with the for-profit private American healthcare system,” he continued.

The touching post comes after Delaney shared a video last month praising the NHS and calling it “the pinnacle of human achievement.”

It isn’t the first time the dad has opened up about the tragic passing of his son.

Back in September he shared a post in remembrance of Henry on what would have been his first day at school.

“Today would have been our son Henry’s first day of reception,” the actor wrote on Twitter. “Would’ve loved to see him in his little uniform like his big brothers. [heart] to all parents & siblings of wee ones who’ve died.”

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The actor, known for playing Rob Norris in ‘Catastrophe’, previously shared a photo to remember son Henry in December last year after spending their first Christmas without him.

“The day itself was okay,” he wrote. “Maybe because there were so many horrible, painful days leading up to it; we must have hit our quota or something. We talked about him a lot & included his memory throughout the day.”

He went on to explain that he opens up about his son’s death in a bid to normalise grief.

“I speak publicly about Henry in an effort to destigmatise grief,” he continued. “My family is sad & in pain because our beautiful 2 yr old died after a long illness Why wouldn’t we be sad? Why wouldn’t we be angry and confused?”