DEBORAH James has shared a brave picture of her recovering on a hospital bed after nearly “facing death”.

The Sun columnist, 40, said she nearly died during a “traumatic” medical emergency that left her in intensive care.

Deborah James said she nearly faced death in the 'traumatic' medical emergency


Deborah James said she nearly faced death in the ‘traumatic’ medical emergencyCredit: Instagram / Deborah James
The Sun's columnist said she's not yet ready to discuss the trauma of the medical episode


The Sun’s columnist said she’s not yet ready to discuss the trauma of the medical episode

Writing on Instagram, the mum-of-two who has been battling stage 4 bowel cancer since 2016, said: “Apologies for being quiet.

“A week ago at this time in the evening, I nearly died in what was an acute medical emergency.

“I’m not ready to discuss what happened yet as the trauma of it all has been incredibly intense – but it’s thanks to an unbelievable team of NHS specialists who worked all through the night and the next day to save me. I cannot be more grateful.

“I’m still not out of danger and I have a lot more procedures to deal with. But I’m now out of intensive care. And for the first time felt able to briefly update you.”

She posted a picture to her 267,000 followers of her smiling and giving a thumbs up in hospital after her third operation of the week.

Deborah, who has survived cancer against all odds, said that she’s got another one lined up for tomorrow.

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She added: “In 5 years of having stage 4 Cancer – this has been the hardest, most heartbreaking and scariest of them all.

“I’d always prepared for my death, but I wasn’t prepared for something so blindsiding and traumatic to happen. I can’t quite believe I’m here to write this.

“A week ago my whole family was praying I’d pull through the night. I’m getting a lot of help and support to come to terms with the trauma I’ve been through.

“My family have been incredible. I don’t know how my husband held it together seeing me crash as an army of doctors stabilised me in resus.”

She added: “Thank you for your kind messages – they really mean a lot. I’m sure you can appreciate that right now whilst I might read them, I’m not in any position to respond.

“And I’m hoping to share with you, when I’m ready in my own words what I’ve been through.

“For now though I’m just focusing on my health and taking it all day by day. Thank you as always for your virtual love & support. It really helps.”

In December, Deborah said she was facing another “uncertain phase” with her stage 4 bowel cancer, after a “scary six months”.

The Sun columnist, 40, was waiting to find out what the next steps of her treatment will be in the New Year, after having a failed op.


The mum-of-two has chronicled her journey with cancer with optimism and humour, sharing each milestone of her battle with the world.

After being told she had stage four bowel cancer in 2016, the former teacher began writing her column for the Sun, Thing’s Cancer Made Me Say, and fast became a national treasure.

Deborah was told she didn’t have long left. But she has become part of the eight per cent of cases with her type of cancer who live for at least five years following diagnosis. 

Her liver started to fail in the summer because a rapidly growing tumour tried to wrap itself around her bile duct, and she was given an emergency stent. 

In December, doctors were going to replace a stent in Deborah’s liver as a standard procedure – which was meant to be straightforward but turned into a nightmare, Deborah said.

It was discovered that Deborah’s bile duct had become “even more annoyingly complex”, and the stent was not replaceable.

Deborah had no stent and “desperately needs some out of the box quick thinking”.

Deborah James is facing more uncertainty with bowel cancer
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