Jonnie Irwin was on cusp of death at hospice as wife told to prepare for worst

Jonnie Irwin talking about his experience of palliative care

Jonnie Irwin “was on the cusp of death” while lying in a hospice bed crippled by pain.

The A Place In The Sun star’s terrifying moment came nearly six months ago, almost three years after he was initially diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The 49-year-old was struggling to walk and his weight had dropped to just six stone when he moved to St Oswald’s in Newcastle.

It was while the presenter was there that his wife Jess, 40, was told it was unlikely her husband would make their twins’ birthday a fortnight later.

Jonnie has now opened up about his “weakest point” in a new joint interview with his spouse, saying he thought it was “the beginning of the end”.

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The Escape To The Country host told recalled to The Sun: “Lying in the hospice, I thought I’d had it. I was on the cusp of death.

“I’d never thought about dying, despite the cancer, and Jess and I don’t talk about it.

“But at my weakest point I thought, ‘This is it, this is the beginning of the end’.”

Jonnie was initially given just six months to live after being diagnosed with lung cancer which had spread to his brain in August 2020.

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He was taken home from the hospice by his wife to spend what they feared would be his final days with her, son Rex, four, and their youngest boys: Rafa and Cormac, three.

Jess continued: “The doctors said, ‘We are sending him home and we’d advise you to spend as much time together as you can’.

“They weren’t as blunt as to give us a date, but when I told them we’d got a big party planned for the twins and asked if we should cancel it, the medics said they didn’t think Jonnie would be there for it.

“It was devastating.”

But he soon dumbfounded medics and regained his strength, and he is now planning to mark his 50th next week in Spain.

Jonnie’s health certainly hasn’t been plain-sailing since those scary days, and he suffered a setback in September.

Tests found a 1.5cm cancer growth on his brain and he underwent radiotherapy.

He is now awaiting the results of scans to find out if the treatment worked.

The television favourite added: “I never thought I’d be here.”

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