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12 November 2021

Jane McDonald opens up about caring for late partner Eddie Rothe during lung cancer battle

12 November 2021

Jane McDonald has given her first interview following the death of her partner of 13 years from lung cancer and tells how she makes a conscious daily effort to focus on what she’s “grateful” for rather than her grief.

Appearing on ITV’s Loose Women, the former panellist was among old friends as she discussed caring for Eddie Rothe, 67, during his final months.

She said: “He was gorgeous. I don’t want to feel sad for the rest of my life because that wasn’t Ed. Ed was golden, he was smiley, he was beautiful. I get to do the first interview and I couldn’t be with better people here.

“I’m not good at being sad, I’m not good at crying, so every day when I wake up and get that thud that someone’s just hit me, I think, ‘Are you going to go down the dark place where you’ve even for the last year, or are you going to be grateful for everything you’ve got in your life and grateful for the time you had with him, and remember him how I want to remember him’?”

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, she was forced to take on a lot of the caring duties herself, especially as Ed’s general health declined.

Jane recalled: “One thing I’m grateful for as well, because it was in lockdown, nobody was allowed to take care of him, so I had to have a crash course in nursing.

“Ryan [nurse] came and showed me how to do everything. Because it was lung cancer, they were scared of him getting Covid... I took over everything. That was a privilege.

“At first I thought, ‘How am I going to do this?’ But then you get a strength when you’re nursing your loved one. I learnt how to do it. I changed all the dressings and I cared for him and I nursed him and I’m glad I did.”

Revealing she has shelved her original plans to retire following her partner’s passing, she explained: “I was supposed to be retiring at the end of the year, but it’s been the only thing I know what to do.

“It’s been my healer, being out with the fans. I thank them so much for everything they’ve done for me and Wakefield Hospital as well.

“That’s the only thing I know what to do. I’m going back and doing another travel show, the Caribbean. And then I’m doing Yorkshire, my Christmas arena.

Everyone’s saying: “It’s Christmas, your first one without Ed,” and I’m thinking, “No. Last Christmas was the worst I could have ever experienced and now I’m going to have the best Christmas with all my fans in Leeds arena.” I’m doing the Royal Variety - there’s Ed Sheeran.

She added: “I’ve got a real special bond with my fans and I’m grateful to them every single day.”

Loose Women airs weekdays on ITV at 12:30pm.

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