Simon Thomas tragically lost his wife Gemma to cancer in November, and has now revealed that prior to her death, he was facing a secret battle with depression and anxiety. The former Blue Peter presenter penned a heartfelt and honest post about his mental health on his blog, A Grief Shared, which he set up following Gemma's death. The 45-year-old admitted that he had come close to taking his own life when he was at his lowest, with his depression being triggered after Gemma suffered a miscarriage, as well as a failed round of IVF after his son Ethan, eight, was born. He wrote: "I began to spiral downwards into a much darker place in my life." The TV presenter went on to reveal that his depression and anxiety resulted in him having a panic attack prior to presenting the Manchester United against Tottenham game for Sky Sports last September, but that his wife Gemma had been his "rock".
He wrote: "All I could do at that moment was grab my phone and ring the only person who would truly understand. That person was my rock – my wife Gemma." He said that his wife reassured him: "Darl I know you can do it. God had given you this gift and he won’t let you down. He knows you have the strength to do it, you know you can do it and I know you can do it, now please darl tell Jack your producer how you are feeling."
Simon Thomas said his late wife Gemma had been his "rock" during his depression
Simon said that although he went on air, it was the last time he worked as a few days later, he suffered from another panic attack at home. Simon said that his boss had been amazing, but that the day he called him to have a catch up, was the same day Gemma was diagnosed with blood cancer. "Except the next morning I was dealing with the worst news of my life. My dear Gemma had been diagnosed with blood cancer. Three days later my wife was dead, leaving me devastated and my precious boy Ethan without his Mum," he shared. Simon added that he was now struggling to deal with his depression, "questioning where on earth I’m at with all the stuff I had battled with before," along with grieving his wife's sudden death.
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Simon and his son Ethan tragically lost Gemma to cancer in November
Last week, the grief-stricken dad shared a video on his Instagram account to talk to fans about just how quiet his family home now is without Gemma's presence. The footage was recorded in Simon's marital bedroom, and the presenter explained that he was "trying to embrace the silence", and that he hadn’t been able to sleep in the room since her death, as it was "too painful". Gemma, 40, passed away just three days after being diagnosed with leukaemia.
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Simon took to Twitter to announce the sad news, asking his followers to keep their son in their prayers. He said: "Today I am crushed with indescribable pain. Just three days after falling ill with Acute Myloid Leukaemia, my dear wife Gemma passed away yesterday evening surrounded by her family and friends." He added: "If you are a prayer - pray for my boy Ethan. 8yrs, precious and in bits. Thank you."