British actress Holly Matthews has revealed the heartbreaking details of her husband Ross Blair’s death this week, after a three-year-long battle with an incurable brain tumour.
‘On Saturday July 29, just as the final whistle was blowing for the end of Saturday football, my incredible husband took his last breath,’ Holly, whose known for her roles in Casualty, Byker Grove and Waterloo Road told the Coventry Telegraph.
‘He was surrounded by me, his mum [Dionne Blair], dad [Andy Blair] and sister [Ashley Blair], peacefully and with the support of the incredible Myton Hospice staff.’
Ross, who is the son of ex-Aston Villa player Andy Blair, was first diagnosed with a rare aggressive malignant brain tumour, and given a 50-50 chance of surviving five years.
In an article for the Daily Mail last year, following a family holiday to Marbella where Ross looked fit and well, Holly said: ‘Right now, he looks like the same gorgeous, healthy man I’ve always known and I just want to freeze frame these joyous family snaps in my mind.’
‘When Ross was first diagnosed, doctors ticked the box that said treatment was aiming to ‘cure’, not the ‘prolong life’ box. We clung on to that for reassurance. Now we are in the ‘prolong’ box,’ she adds, noting that future surgeries are just ‘buying time’.’
‘At 31, I’ve had conversations with my husband I never imagined at my age. Despite his prognosis, I cannot face the word widow.’
Now, less than a year after she penned the heartbreaking piece, Holly has shared the news of his death with the public, who have rushed to support her, raising thousands of pounds for the Myton Hospice in Warwick where Ross was being cared for in his final weeks.
‘The impact Ross has had on my life is incredible,’ she continued. ‘Throughout this all, we have been together and our mantra has been “whatever it takes,” that is now what I will do with the girls; whatever it takes to get us all through and to thrive regardless of what life has thrown in our paths.’
‘I have talked to the girls about energy and how energy never dies, that the people we love live on in our hearts and our memories and they no longer walk beside us but they are within us, part of of us and as Ross had an opinion on everything, we have no doubt what he would say in every situation.’
‘The coming months will be tough but we will ride the waves and do what we need to.’