Dame Deborah James’ mum on ‘coming home to die’ admission

Dame Deborah James died this summer surrounded by her family – and now her mum Heather has revealed the moment Deborah told her she was “coming home to die”.

Heather made the crushing admission as part of a video for Stand Up To Cancer.

She revealed: “I can remember her saying: ‘I can’t do this any more.’”

Bowel Gran Heather James speaking to camera
Deborah’s mum Heather has revealed the moment her daughter told her she was ‘coming home to die’ (Credit: YouTube)

Mother of Dame Deborah James make crushing admission

Heather was at Deborah’s side up until her death in June.

In the video, she recalled how Deborah struggled in hospital early in 2022, before moving to the Royal Marsden, where she “slowly deteriorated”.

She said: ‘I’m coming home to die but I don’t want to die.’ And I went: ‘I know you don’t want to die darling.’

“I can remember her saying one day: ‘I can’t do this any more,’” Heather said.

As her followers will know, Deborah moved in with her parents and spent her final few months at home.

It was there that she launched her groundbreaking In The Style collection and accepted her Damehood from Prince William.

Now her mum has revealed the moment her daughter told her she was “coming home to die”.

Heather revealed she recalls Deborah saying: “‘I’m coming home to die but I don’t want to die.’ And I went: ‘I know you don’t want to die darling.’”

Paying further tribute in the video, Heather branded her daughter a “force of nature”.

Dame Deborah James wearing her Rebellious Hope T-shirt
Dame Deborah James died from bowel cancer over the summer (Credit YouTube)

First Christmas without her

This week, Heather has opened up about the prospect of her first Christmas without her beloved daughter.

She told The Sun: “Deborah loved Christmas so much, she loved buying the children new decorations, picking the tree, decorating it and playing Christmas songs.”

Read more: Deborah James’ children pay tribute at their mum’s funeral

Heather added that, last year, Deborah went to a garden centre and bought Christmas decorations with her daughter Eloise.

“She came home with some huge Nutcracker ornaments too. I know I am going to find it really hard to see those this year,” she added.

Dame Deborah James nominated for new award

There’s no doubt Deborah has touched the lives of many people, not to mention helped fund vital research into bowel cancer thanks to her fundraising efforts.

In fact, her Cancer Research UK page on JustGiving is currently at £7.5 million.

And that’s why, here at Entertainment Daily, we’re proud to announce that Deborah is in the running for our Inspiration Award as part of our first-ever Entertainment Daily Awards 2022.

If you would like to vote for Deborah, you can do so here.

She is nominated alongside the likes of Julia Bradbury, Kate Garraway and Ellie Simmonds.

The winners will be announced once all votes have been counted at the end of the year.

Read more: Vote for your favourite National Treasure in our new Entertainment Daily Awards 2022!

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