Widowed presenter Simon Thomas pays touching tribute to girlfriend Derrina Jebb

Widowed presenter Simon Thomas has thanked his girlfriend for making him ‘happier than he dared to believe he could be again’. 

Norfolk-born father-of-one Simon, 47, who has been raising son Ethan, 10, single-handedly after losing his wife Gemma to cancer at the end of 2017, shared a black and white snap of Derrina Jebb on her 30th birthday this week.

Simon admitted he was ‘head over heels in love’, and said that his and his son’s life had been ‘blessed’ by Derrina, who he started dating in 2018 after reportedly meeting her through a church group. 

Simon’s late wife Gemma Thomas tragically died in November 2017, a year after she was sent home for bed rest by her GP after visiting three times with flu-like symptoms.

Widowed presenter Simon Thomas has thanked his girlfriend for making him 'happier than he dared to believe he could be again'

Widowed presenter Simon Thomas has thanked his girlfriend for making him 'happier than he dared to believe he could be again'

Widowed presenter Simon Thomas has thanked his girlfriend for making him ‘happier than he dared to believe he could be again’

Norfolk-born father-of-one Simon, 47, who has been raising son Ethan, 10, single-handedly after losing his wife Gemma to cancer at the end of 2017, shared a black and white snap of Derrina Jebb on her 30th birthday this week

Norfolk-born father-of-one Simon, 47, who has been raising son Ethan, 10, single-handedly after losing his wife Gemma to cancer at the end of 2017, shared a black and white snap of Derrina Jebb on her 30th birthday this week

Norfolk-born father-of-one Simon, 47, who has been raising son Ethan, 10, single-handedly after losing his wife Gemma to cancer at the end of 2017, shared a black and white snap of Derrina Jebb on her 30th birthday this week

Sharing the picture to his Instagram account, he wrote: ‘A very Happy Birthday to this very very special lady. I can’t begin to express how much this lady has changed my life. 

‘She’s loved me when I was hard to love, stuck with me when I’ve messed up, walked beside me when there were easier paths to tread and made me happier than I ever dared to believe I could be again.’

He added: ‘Sometimes people don’t always see this. They say things like it’s good that she’s able to keep the boys company or be there to look after them. But Derrina isn’t some kind of carer – she’s the woman I have fallen head over heels in love with.

‘My life and my boy’s life has been massively blessed by her and she deserves all the love in the world because she’s a total one off. Happy Birthday @derrina xxxx (I know she’s not a fan of PDA’s’.

Simon admitted he was 'head over heels in love', and said that his and his son's life had been 'blessed' by Derrina, who he started dating in 2018 after reportedly meeting her through a church group

Simon admitted he was 'head over heels in love', and said that his and his son's life had been 'blessed' by Derrina, who he started dating in 2018 after reportedly meeting her through a church group

Simon admitted he was ‘head over heels in love’, and said that his and his son’s life had been ‘blessed’ by Derrina, who he started dating in 2018 after reportedly meeting her through a church group

Simon's late wife Gemma Thomas tragically died in November 2017, a year after she was sent home for bed rest by her GP after visiting three times with flu-like symptoms

Simon's late wife Gemma Thomas tragically died in November 2017, a year after she was sent home for bed rest by her GP after visiting three times with flu-like symptoms

Simon’s late wife Gemma Thomas tragically died in November 2017, a year after she was sent home for bed rest by her GP after visiting three times with flu-like symptoms

Simon and Gemma tied the knot in 2005 and were married for 12 years before Gemma suddenly passed away three days after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. 

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live in November 2018, the ex sports presenter addressed his new relationship for the first time – though he kept Derrina’s identity anonymous at the time – and said it has been ‘an incredible support’ for him.

The father-of-one admitted he could be falling in love, but said Gemma could never be replaced, saying: ‘I’m very aware she was someone I didn’t know before and have got to know over the last few weeks and months.

‘Right from the early stages – she had this empathy towards me. She’s Christian as well and that’s important to me as a man of faith.

‘She’s been an incredible support for me. She was the only person who would always pick up the phone.

‘What I saw in her, I saw in Gemma. When she said my phone is always on, she meant it.’

The former Blue Peter presenter, who has described himself as a ‘man of faith’, reportedly met Derrina Jebb through his church.

Jebb is a church minister’s daughter and currently works in the legal industry.  

What is acute myeloid leukaemia?

Acute myeloid leukaemia is an aggressive and rare form of blood cancer.

The symptoms of AML usually develop over a few weeks and become more severe. 

According to NHS Choices, the symptoms include: 

  • Pale Skin
  • Tiredness
  • Breathlessness
  • Frequent infections
  • Unusual and frequent bleeding – including the gums and nosebleeds

In advanced cases, patients are incredibly vulnerable to life-threatening infections and internal bleeding. 

If a GP suspects leukaemia, they will arrange a blood test to determine blood cell production. 

In AML, stem cells within the patient’s bone marrow produce too many immature white blood cells, which are not capable of fighting infection. 

This also can lead to a decrease in production of the oxygen-carrying red blood cells and platelets that help the blood to clot. 

Each year around 2,600 people in the UK are diagnosed with blood cancer. 

After diagnosis, patients need urgent chemotherapy due to the aggressive nature of the cancer. 

In some cases, radiotherapy may be needed along with a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. 

Source: NHS Choices 

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