Tessa Jowell's family tell of her peaceful final hours and ‘beautiful death’

Dame Tessa Jowell ’s family today told how she was smiling and laughing just days before her “beautiful death”.

Her husband, David Mills, spoke of her “merciful release” and her daughterJessie said that it had been an “incredibly peaceful” time. Former CultureSecretary Dame Tessa died aged 70 on Saturday after a battle against a brain tumour.

Mr Mills said she never gave up hope of finding a cure and in her final days they had been looking to try to create a vaccine from the DNA of the tumour.

“In one way it was a mercy that it all happened very, very quickly,” he told BBC radio. “It only took 36 hours really, from when she had this haemorrhage to when she died and she was aware of very little during that time, so it was a merciful release for her.

“In many ways, as the wonderful people who looked after her at Shipston Home Nursing, which is our local hospice at home service, said it was a very, very beautiful death... if you can have a beautiful death, she certainly had one.”

He welcomed the Government’s announcement that it was doubling funding into brain cancer research in the wake of her death to £40 million over the next five years.

Dame Tessa died aged 70 on Saturday after a battle against a brain tumour (Lucy Young)

Ms Mills told how just the day before her mother had her haemorrhage she had been walking down the lane outside their home “in the most wonderful spirits, smiling and laughing with dad and just having the most special time”.

She added: “We didn’t let her go for the whole of the last couple of days that she was very, very, very ill.

“We literally laid with her, next to her, kissing her, holding her, telling her how much we loved her and it was the honour of our lives to be her family.

“It was an incredibly peaceful time. Until the last moment she was the magnificent person, mother that we all know and just adore.”

Lord Coe told how Dame Tessa was “utterly fearless, like a tiger fighting her corner” as she sought to bring the 2012 Olympics to London, adding: “People say nice things about people in such tragedies but, from everyone, this is truly heartfelt.”

Former minister Lord Mandelson praised Dame Tessa for her work in establishing the Sure Start children’s centre programme. “Tender is the right word but not the only one. Tough, battling and indefatigable are also appropriate and they describe her life in politics.”

Read more news of London on our site.

standard.co.uk
husband DavidMills TessaJowell ‘beautifuldeath’
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
3 views in september
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Comments are designed to communicate and discuss the features of an enterprise or event, as well as to find out the interesting questions on it.

Society
Homeowners whose properties were devastated by the Christmas flooding of 2013 may feel a little safer at the news their town is set for a new £15 million barrier thanks to the latest round of funding. Flood defences for Tonbridge and the surrounding area are to be improved following a decision to award more than £2 million of government cash. It will go towards improvements to the Leigh Flood Storage area and local embankments in the Hildenborough area. Th...
Society
The Government is to crack down on people smugglers advertising their services to people in developing countries via Facebook in a bid to stem the flow of undocumented migrants to the UK at its source. The UK has identified 539 social media pages – the vast majority on Facebook – which it says are used by people illegally offering others transit to Europe - writes independent.co.uk “We must now match our pursuit of people smugglers and traffickers with a r...
Incidents
A schoolboy died from the effects of a suspected allergic reaction after allegedly being chased and having cheese thrown down his T-shirt, an inquest heard today. Karanbir Cheema, 13, was “gasping for air” when emergency crews arrived at William Perkin CofE High School in Greenford . Kieran Oppatt, the first paramedic to arrive at the scene on June 28 last year, today told St Pancras coroner’s court that the unconscious teenager’s condition deteriorated dr...
Society
Around 120 people were affected by a flood in West Drayton when a burst water main filled a residential street. The road, Falling Lane, was covered in a metre of water in an incident which prompted six fire engines and 40 firefighters into action on Sunday. Some 80 properties were impacted, some of which were evacuated . In an update, a spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade , which was called at 8.39pm, said: “Firefighters used sand bags and pumped wate...
Society
Council sidestepped a loaded decision about ending city hall regulation of the number of taxi licences in London, punting the controversial proposal back to staff on Tuesday night. The direction to city staff? Talk to the taxi industry. Again. It’s the latest chapter in the never-ending saga over London’s bylaw governing taxis, limousines and private ride-hailing companies like Uber. VEHICLE FOR HIRE BYLAW Staff will bring a bylaw back to the community and...
Incidents
A dog owner claims her pet was kicked to death by a teenager in a “disgusting” attack at an east London park. Pomeranian puppy Scout was set upon by thugs while being walked in Raphael Park in Romford , owner Samantha Winfield said - writes standard.co.uk She has launched a Facebook campaign to track down the culprit and police are investigating the incident, which happened at about 3pm on Sunday. “My partner walked my two Pomeranian puppies in Raphael Par...
Society
A teenage girl was raped in broad daylight in an east London park, police have said. The Met's child abuse and sexual offences command is investigating the attack, which happened in West Ham Park on Tuesday. The female victim was attacked by a man close to the entrance opposite FairlandRoad, Scotland Yard said. It happened at about 4pm. No arrests have yet been made. West Ham Park, which dates back to the 16th century,is run by the City of London Corporati...
Society
Armed police would have needed “luck” to be in the right place to tackle an intruder at Parliament, the Westminster terror attack inquest heard today. Khalid Masood, 52, rushed into the Parliamentary grounds and stabbed Pc Keith Palmer to death having mown down and killed four pedestrians with his car on Westminster Bridge. The inquest has heard armed police patrolling Parliament had been in-structed to prioritise the safety of ministers and MPs over polic...
Society
A car thief who was filmed deliberately driving at a group of cyclists has admitted a string of offences. Shane Seymour, 25, of Southwark, south London, drove at the cyclists on Clapham Road, Clapham, during the morning rush hour of 1 August. Footage on social media showed a black Audi with fake number plates repeatedly accelerating towards the cyclists. Seymour pleaded guilty to the theft of a car, driving while disqualified and dangerous driving. He appe...