Dame Deborah James’ mum Heather James opened up about the final weeks of her daughter’s life as she received palliative care at home.

Heather appeared on Lorraine on Thursday morning to promote the release of Deborah’s final book How To Live When You Could Be Dead.

In her first studio interview since the death of her daughter almost two months ago, Heather told host Christine Lampard how the family are doing after the loss of Deborah.

Heather said: “We knew she’d come home to die, but you still had that bit of hope, ‘Did they get it wrong?’ She lived longer than the first time we were given.

“I actually find it harder now since the weeks go on because it’s been longer since I’ve spoken to her and like this, she should be here doing this.”

Dame Deborah's mum opens up about 'little bit of hope' she would survive amid hospice care

“I know she’s with me in spirit and I know she’s looking down and saying, ‘Mum, you can do this.’” ( Image: ITV)

She added: “I know she’s with me in spirit and I know she’s looking down and saying, ‘Mum, you can do this.’

“She gave me the confidence while she was here and I’m hoping, with her help, I can still have the confidence and get the word out about cancer and checking your poo and being positive about living a good life when things go wrong.”

Deborah had spent the last two years writing the book, with the last two chapters written at home in the last few weeks of her life.

Dame Deborah's mum opens up about 'little bit of hope' she would survive amid hospice care

Deborah had spent the last two years writing the book ( Image: BBC)

Heather said: “Not the ending she expected when she started the book two years ago – she didn’t know then how long she’d have, but she had two extra years which was amazing.”

She added: “I’ve read the last chapters now and they’re very emotional but very, very good advice to the children, so that’s good.”

Reflecting on Deborah’s sunny personality, Heather said, “She was such a positive person, full of energy, right up to the last breath she took.

Dame Deborah's mum opens up about 'little bit of hope' she would survive amid hospice care

“We knew she’d come home to die, but you still had that bit of hope, ‘Did they get it wrong?’” ( Image: ITV)

“She wanted life and loved life so much and she wanted everyone else to experience the positivity of life – what a great way to lead your life and if we could all just take a little bit of that hope and positivity and mindset – that is hopefully what the book will help you achieve.”

On Deborah’s feisty personality, Heather said she was “very, very determined”, saying: “There would be a battle going on, but she always enjoyed her life, lived it to the full, never had enough hours, enough minutes of the day.

“Even as a very young child, ‘Could we not put more than 24 hours in the day? Who chose 24 hours in the day?’”

Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV and ITV Hub

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