Denise Welch talks coping with death of her father

Loose Women’s Denise Welch returned to the panel today for the first time since her dad Vin Welch passed away in September and spoke of how she’s been coping.

Ruth Langsford asked how Denise was and she revealed, “I’m ok, I didn’t feel ready to come back until now and obviously this show was very respectful of that.”

“It’s weird because last time I was here I was asking you all to celebrate with me because Dad, after a long illness this year – the first time he’d been poorly in his life – I spent a lot of this year in hospital with him. He’d made such a valiant recovery, we loved him back to health we thought. And then he got what started as temperature, he had some paracetamol and it went down and you don’t get overly panicky about that. But unfortunately he had to go into hospital, he was furious he had to go back in.”

“We kept saying, ‘Dad you’ve got to, it’s only for a few days’ and he said, ‘I’m not staying here when the Ryder Cup’s on’ and all this sort of thing. Unfortunately it wasn’t just two or three days – he had pulmonary fibrosis which he had lived with and it hadn’t really caused him that much of a problem but the pneumonia on top, he just couldn’t eat.

“It was difficult because the hospital at the beginning, when he was taken in, yet again had no visiting. While he was poorly in there, he felt lonely in there and a bit scared as thousands of people have with various illnesses this year. But when we knew he wasn’t going to make it, the staff on his ward in Durham were incredible in letting us as a family… because we were all with him when he went and I think that Dad didn’t know he was going.”

“The palliative team came to talk to Debbie and I and they said, ‘Do you think your dad is compos mentis enough to understand that he’s not going to recover?’ and we said, ‘Whether he is or not’ because with the lack of oxygen, his mental capacity had declined and he was in and out of lucidity at that point. He knew we were there and he thought Lincoln was upstairs waiting in the car for him to come and indeed Lincoln spent 12 hours in the car park… It’s been very, very tough. My sister and I have been a strength for each other. The kids thought dad was going to come back… they didn’t believe it until it happened.”

“I take gratitude for the fact Dad thought he was coming out for the Ryder Cup and by that time he wasn’t really quite aware… We protected him from knowing. It wasn’t something Dad would have wanted to know or indeed admitted.”

Ruth then asked Denise if it was a comfort that she was with her dad when he passed and Denise revealed,

“The amount of people who have been so gracious to send love to me and my family, who weren’t able to be with their loved ones, particularly in these last two years. My mum and dad when they went, they went with their family around them. And I’m very grateful for that because so many people didn’t get to have that.”

“When he died, Matthew said, ‘We have to give grandpa a send off, we have to give him a party that he would be furious at not being at.’ And that’s exactly what we did. He would’ve been so peed off he wasn’t there.”

Then a VT flashed up of Vin’s best bits. After the VT Denise revealed, “I was lucky to have him for 63 years… Lincoln loved him like a Dad. We’re very lucky we’re from such a close family and have lovely friends.”

To watch the show in full, visit itv.com/hub Loose Women, weekdays, ITV from 12.30 pm

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