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25th May 2022

Deborah James “scared to go to sleep” as she receives hospice care

Ellen Fitzpatrick


Dame Deborah James has opened up on her fears of falling asleep, admitting that it frightens her as she doesn’t know how much time she has left.

The BBC journalist is currently receiving end of life treatment after suffering from bowel cancer, and is under hospice care as treatment is no longer an option.

The 40 year old was diagnosed with bowel cancer five years ago.

Since revealing she is at the last stages of her battle, she has been spending her time with family, revealing part of why she is so tired is because she fears falling asleep as it might be the last time.

She told The Sun: “I don’t feel like I’m on my deathbed. I’m not planning on dying anytime soon but it’s just so unpredictable.

“I’m scared to fall asleep and that’s one of the biggest reasons I’m so tired. I am scared to go to sleep.”

Deborah is currently staying at her parent’s home in Woking as she wants to pass there rather than her family home, not wanting to put the burden on her two children.

She added: “I don’t want them to take on the burden of having to care for me, massage my legs because I can’t walk. That would break my heart.”

Diagnosed back in 2016, the 40-year-old took to Instagram to inform her followers that she has been moved to “hospice at home care” and that “nobody knows how long [she’s] got left]”.

Writing in a lengthy post, the presenter and campaigner began by saying: “The message I never wanted to write.

“We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball. My active care has stopped and I am now moved to hospice at home care, with my incredible family all around me and the focus is on making sure I’m not in pain and spending time with them.”

James went on to detail how she is no longer able to walk and spends most days sleeping, remarking that the last six months have been less than kind but that she is surrounded by love as she looks to see out her final days.