Tearful Carol Vorderman shares her assisted dying wishes with heart-wrenching story of her mum's final days

18 February 2024, 18:50 | Updated: 1 May 2024, 12:01

Carol Vorderman explains why she would choose assisted suicide if she had a terminal condition

By Chay Quinn

Carol Vorderman has said she would end her own life if she was diagnosed with a terminal illness - before sharing the heart-wrenching story of her mother's battle with cancer with LBC listeners.

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After Dame Esther Rantzen said that she has joined Swiss assisted dying clinic Dignitas following a diagnosis of terminal cancer, LBC host Carol told her viewers that she would do the same.

During the opening of her show, TV legend Carol said: "Now obviously Dame Esther Rantzen has created many headlines quite rightfully with this topic - and there are different laws in different lands about this right for assisted dying and I want to know your experiences.

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"I am going to tell you about my family and I want to tell you something that I haven't shared with many until now. And its how I have already chosen, just like Dame Esther, that if the situation is thus that I am given a diagnosis of a terminal illness then I will choose to go abroad and die that way.

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"With dignity and not subject myself and my family to the only pathway that is available in the UK."

When explaining about her choice, Carol told the story of her mum Edwina Davies and her final years battling with several cancers.

Dame Esther will join Nick Ferrari at Breakfast from 9am on Tuesday and you can listen on Global Player, the official LBC app.

Carol explained: "I watched my mum die as I am sure many of you listening have watched a loved one die and I want to hear from you.

Mum and I were very close. I mean really really close. I'd grown up very poor with Mum as a single parent. We had done all sorts together when I was growing up including once running away to the circus.

I was her baby and she felt a special responsibility towards me - and that was the same how I felt about my mum.

Carol welled up while sharing the story of her mother's battle with cancer
Carol welled up while sharing the story of her mother's battle with cancer. Picture: Global

Mum lived with me from when I was 21 to when she died in 2017. We bought a house together in Leeds - she wrote into Countdown to get me the job because she forged my signature.

"She was my everyday until she wasn't. Mum had three cancers from when she was in her early 70s. She had ovarian cancer and then she had kidney cancer and then she had a very large melanoma removed from her skull.

"Two years after that she was in quite a lot of pain. And she couldn't eat properly. And she became very anxious about going out.

"I remember the Sunday morning and she was crying out with pain and she didn't want to go to the doctors. I said 'Mum I can't do anything more..

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Dame Esther will join Nick Ferrari at Breakfast from 7am and you can listen on Global Player, the official LBC app. Picture: Getty

'Making you another cup of tea isn't going to cut it anymore, Mum. I have to get you to hospital.'

"So I took her to the Bristol Royal Infirmary and they took their tests and their scans and she was in overnight. And when I went back early the next day the consultant came round and they told her she had terminal cancer. And she had a choice whether she wanted to receive chemotherapy or radiotherapy or whatever the treatment would be and she didn't.

"She wanted to not have the treatment - and to die without that. And it was very hard as a daughter to hear those words.

"And then a week later it was Mothers' Day - and by that point she had morphine and the morphine had helped aand we gave her a wonderful party with all of her children and her grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was Nana to everyone and she lived for a further ten weeks.

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Carol (right) and her mother (left). Picture: Getty

"And over those weeks the morphine began to wear off and the pain was coming back and she had more morphine to cover the pain but she felt more pain.

"She didn't want to go into care. So we looked after her at home and she died at home. My beautiful mum - with all of us around her bed.

"I will never forget the pain - or the moment she took her last breath. And I can still see it.

"I've spoken to my children about it and I have spoken to my son about it. I don't know whether if she had been given a choice whether or not she would have taken it.

"And that's the point of my story today. Would she have taken the chance at assisted dying? I know I would."