Published: 11:13 EST, 31 December 2017 | Updated: 11:13 EST, 31 December 2017
Simon Thomas has detailed his 'stomach churning dread' for the year ahead in a heartbreaking statement following the passing of his late wife Gemma last month.
The Sky Sports presenter, 44, took to Twitter on Saturday night with the emotional post where he revealed concerns for his eight-year-old son Ethan entering the new year without his mother.
The broadcaster was hit by tragedy last month when his wife Gemma died just three days after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia – an aggressive cancer that affects white blood cells.
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Emotional: Simon Thomas, 44, has detailed his 'stomach churning dread' for the year ahead in a heartbreaking statement following the passing of his late wife Gemma last month
Preparing to welcome in the New Year without the love of his life Gemma, the former Blue Peter shared a lengthy post on social media which described how he was feeling.
'Never been the biggest fan of January. In a heartbeat we go from the light filled time of Christmas to the often barren feeling landscape of the new year. But this year it fills me with a stomach churning dread,' he began.
'The unavoidable, inescapable return to the house we so loved, yet now breathes the loss of the woman who poured her heart and creativity into making it our dream home.
'The silence that has always felt so peaceful, is now a painful, claustrophobic one as I crave that front door to open again and her smiling face to come walking back in.
The Sky Sports presenter took to Twitter on Saturday night with the emotional post where he revealed concerns for his eight-year-old son Ethan entering the new year without his mother
The broadcaster was hit by tragedy last month when his wife Gemma died just three days after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia – an aggressive cancer that affects white blood cells
'And then there's the looming start of a new school term,' Simon continued.
'The school gates, where the daily rhythm of family life is now so hard to be around, and the goodbye to the boy I won't see for the next few hours.
'I don't even feel like a family now, it's me and the boy – the team, the partnership in this challenging journey we now find ourselves on."
'Step by step we'll keep moving, keep walking, keep cherishing the memories, keep seeking the light; but 2018 won't be a new start.
"The bells of Big Ben and the bursting fireworks won't herald the start of a new beginning but instead the farewell to the last year I had with her and the continued walk through the confusing fog of grief.
Preparing to welcome in the New Year without the love of his life Gemma, the former Blue Peter shared a lengthy post on social media which described how he was feeling
'People have said to me many times over the past few weeks that it can't get any worse – but it can, it really can.
'I just pray to God that it won't and that out of the ashes of 2017 we will begin to rise again. I hope God blesses you in 2018 and blesses us too,' it was concluded.
This comes after Simon shared a heart rendering family photograph of his late wife Gemma and their son Ethan.
Mr Thomas shared the photograph of the two on Instagram last night, with the caption 'Found this earlier. Loved their special relationship xx'.
'Found this earlier. Loved their special relationship xx': This comes after Simon shared a heart rendering family photograph of his late wife Gemma and their son Ethan
Instagram users immediately sent messages of support on the picture, which gathered over 1,300 likes.
James Coyle wrote '@simonjthomassky keep holding on. Every day hold on. You are an inspiration. Stay strong. My thoughts are with you and your family.'
Neil Golightly added: 'Your own relationship with your son has now taken on it's own special meaning. Keep posting the pics, keep grieving take your time. There is no rush and you're doing a great job. Merry Xmas to you and your son @simonjthomassky I look forward to seeing you back on my screen. Good luck on your journey'.
Another user said: 'This deserves a frame around it – stay strong @simonjthomassky your doing amazingly and your wife will be so proud of you looking down amongst the stars. God bless to you and your boy xx'.
'You are an inspiration:' Instagram users flooded the touching post with words of support
'Keep posting the pics, keep grieving in your own time': Simon Thomas, 44, shared the picture of his son Ethan with his wife Gemma, who died just three days after her cancer diagnosis
'God bless to you and your boy': The post gathered hundreds of likes, and came after a series of tragic posts
The lovely photograph comes just after the couple's only child, Ethan, wrote a tragic letter asking for his 'mummy back'.
The boy won hearts with his touching response, with more than 500 likes under an hour after dad Simon uploaded the picture to his Instagram account.
Simon wrote: 'I just wish I could give him the third'
Simon Thomas shared a photo of his eight-year-old son Ethan's heartbreaking letter to Father Christmas where he asked for 'his mummy back'
The eight-year-old asked Santa for Playmobil and Lego before ending the list by asking for his 'mummy back'.
The tear-jerking post led to an outpouring of support for the tragic family with users branding the photo 'heartbreaking'.
User Leesha Jayne wrote: 'This is heartbreaking, brought a tear to my eye. Wishing you and your family a merry Christmas.'
Helen Michal said: 'So sorry for your loss. A very sad time I’m sure. I wish I could take the pain away. Sending you love and hope'.
Ethan Thomas, eight, asked Father Christmas for Playmobil, Lego and his 'mummy back' in a heartbreaking Christmas letter
Earlier, Mr Thomas had shared another post to Instagram with a photo of his wife's wedding rings.
He wrote: 'Her wedding rings are back with me. I showed them to Ethan this morning and he said – 'Daddy, when I get married, can I give them to my wife?
'His heart is beyond measure #lightinthedarkness'.
The heartbreaking post was met with another outpouring of supportive replies from well wishers.
Rose Harding wrote: 'For a boy so young, amazing for him to think like that for the future.
'His mum will be looking down so proud and whoever gets this ring in the future what a special moment.'
Mr Thomas, 44, earlier shared a photo of his wife's wedding rings on Instagram with Ethan asking if he could give them to his own wife in the future
Mrs Thomas, 40, started feeling unwell and went to the doctor three times before later going to hospital.
Mr Thomas said his wife's condition deteriorated rapidly within hours and she was taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.
After tests, she was transferred to the Churchill Hospital in Oxford and began chemotherapy.
But tragically, she died just three days later of the aggressive acute myloid leaukaemia.
Gemma Thomas, 40, died of an aggressive cancer called acute myeloid leukaemia, three days after first being diagnosed
Simon joined Blue Peter in 1999, replacing Richard Bacon, and worked alongside the likes of Konnie Huq, Matt Baker and Zoe Salmon during his six years on the BBC children's show
Ethan asked for Playmobil, Lego and his 'mummy back' after father Simon revealed the family's heartbreak at the death of Gemma
Norfolk-born Simon joined Blue Peter in 1999, replacing Richard Bacon, and worked alongside the likes of Konnie Huq, Matt Baker and Zoe Salmon during his six years on the BBC children's show.
He left for Sky Sports in 2005 and has worked on a number of projects.
Most recently, he was seen presenting live Premier League coverage for the channel.
After his wife's death, Mr Thomas took to Twitter to share his grief.
He wrote in an emotional post: 'Today I am crushed with indescribable pain. Just three days after falling ill with Acute Myloid Leukaemia, my dear wife Gemma passed away yesterday evening surrounded by her family and friends.
'If you are a prayer – pray for my boy Ethan. 8yrs, precious and in bits. Thank you.'
Mrs Thomas' condition deteriorated rapidly within hours of her diagnosis and she died just three days after the illness was discovered
The post Grieving Simon Thomas expresses 'stomach churning dread' appeared first on News Wire Now.
Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms
The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.
The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.
All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.
It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.
British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.
The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.
The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.
It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.
“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.
“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”
The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.
It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128
Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official
Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.
The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.
Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.
Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.
“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.
“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.
Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.
Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”
However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.
Australia’s tight restrictions
The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.
Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.
A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.
Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.
Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.
Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.
Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.
The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.
While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.
Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.
In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581
Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection
The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.
Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.
Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.
It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.
The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.
Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”
“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.
“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”
Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.
Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.
For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.
Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.
A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.
Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane
Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane
At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.
When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.
Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.
While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.
But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.
And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.
And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836
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