LADY Deborah James today said her dad brushes her hair – as she is too weak to do it herself.
The heroic cancer activist, who is being cared for at the end of her life at her parents’ home in Woking, Surrey, shared a touching photo of father Alistair gently combing her hair on Instagram today.
The 40-year-old Sun writer called him an “unsung hero” in an emotional tribute to Father’s Day.
“Happy Father’s Day!” She wrote.
“Yes, my father brushes my hair because I don’t have the strength to brush it anymore.”
In the picture, she is sitting cross-legged on a chair with her eyes half-closed.
Alistair stands behind her, pink paintbrush raised.
He can be seen lightly holding part of her long brunette hair in one hand.
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Dame Deborah opened up about her love for her father.
She said: “My father is my unsung hero, more than ever. He’s quiet behind the scenes making sure I’m okay.
“He’s always been a very comforting, loving presence in my life – he’s very good at dealing with me and all my weirdness. His patience knows no bounds.”
She joked that if she ever got in trouble with Alistair, she’d know “s*** was bad.”
“It didn’t matter how naughty I was, he knew how to handle me,” she said.
“When I ruined the bathroom while dying my hair, he put up with it all.
“Even at 40, he was the man I called when I broke down.
“He came to me with a can of gas when I ran out of gas and needed rescue.
“All my life he’s just stood behind me and held me still.”
While she was in the hospital for months battling colon cancer earlier this year, only her mother, Heather, was allowed to see her.
But it was Alistair who drove them in every day to make sure his daughter wasn’t alone.
Debs said: “It must have been awful that he couldn’t visit me. I’m his daughter too.
“It breaks my heart to know they have to see this, I can’t imagine what it must feel like.”
Alistair not only helps with hair brushing, but also with cooking.
“I’m finding cooking really therapeutic right now — not that I’m ever actually eating the food,” Deborah said.
A FATHER’S LOVE
“I’m excruciatingly slow at everything, but Dad just patiently helps. The other night it took about an hour and a half to cook fajitas when it was supposed to take 30 minutes.
“Rather than trying it just for me, he handed me the different ingredients and let me do my thing.
“It sounds like a small thing, but it means the world — and I love doing it with him.”
Debs has also paid tribute to husband Seb – and says it breaks her heart to know she will never see children Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12, as parents herself.
“It’s too hard to think about not going to see my son as a father,” she said.
“The biggest thing for me right now, as I don’t know how long I have left, is that the kids will be fine.
All my life Dad just stood behind me and held me still
“Seb is a great father, he’s incredibly good with both of them.
“I have absolutely no concerns about what is going to happen to the children.
“He has a crush on them and I know they won’t want for anything.
“He loves her so much and I know he’ll love her for me too when I’m gone.”
The fact that she lived to see Father’s Day comes as a surprise to Debs, who left the hospital for hospice treatment at home over a month ago.
After learning she might only have a few weeks left, she went into overdrive, raising £6.7million for her BowelBabe Fund.
She published a new book, launched a clothing line and raised a further £1million for her fund by selling T-shirts emblazoned with her Rebellious Hope motto.
And after The Sun launched a campaign in honor of our columnist, Debs was made a dame one day – and had invited Prince William to tea to celebrate.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/health-news/5595126/deborah-james-dad-brushes-hair-fathers-day/ My father has to brush my hair because I’m too weak to do it myself, says brave lady Deborah James