Jade Goody has lost her battle with terminal cervical cancer. Jade passed away in her sleep on Sunday morning with her mother and close friends around her. She was 27 years old. The UK reality show star had lived out her final months quite publicly, with the hopes of raising awareness of cervical cancer screenings and prevention. She leaves behind two sons, Freddie, 4, and Bobby, 5.
The reality TV star passed away at her home in Upshire, Essex, at 3.14am.
Her mother Jackiey Budden, who was at her side when she died, said: ‘My beautiful daughter is at peace.’
Jade’s husband Jack Tweed and close friend Kevin Adams were also at her bedside during her final moments.
‘I think she’s going to be remembered as a young girl who has, and who will, save an awful lot of lives,’ her publicist Max Clifford said, referring to how her public battle with cancer has raised awareness of the disease.
‘She was a very, very brave girl,’ he said.
‘And she faced her death in the way she faced her whole life – full on, with a lot of courage.’
He said it was ‘ironic’ that the 27-year-old – who had two young sons, Bobby, five, and Freddie, four – had died on Mother’s Day.
Mr Clifford added he hoped Jade’s family would be left to grieve in peace.
TV presenter Jeff Brazier, the father of Jade’s two sons, said: ‘I’m grateful the boys were able to say their goodbyes and spend that precious time with their wonderful mother.
‘Bobby and Freddie are my absolute priority and I will be doing everything I can to be their rock and to give them all my love and support to get them through a confusing and upsetting time.’
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was ‘deeply saddened’ by the news.
He described Jade as ‘a courageous woman’.
‘The whole country has admired her determination to provide a bright future for her children,’ he said.
‘She will be remembered fondly by all who knew her and her family can be extremely proud of the work she has done to raise awareness of cervical cancer, which will benefit thousands of women across the UK.’
The Big Brother star’s body was taken out of her home shortly before 8am. She was placed in the back of an estate car and driven away.
Jade’s devastated mother then left the house to speak to reporters gathered outside. She was wearing pyjamas with a coat over the top.
She said: ‘Family and friends would like privacy at last.’
Jade’s friend Kevin, who was dressed all in black, was visibly upset and declined to comment to reporters outside the home.
Mourners bearing floral tributes started arriving at the house within minutes of the news breaking. Two police officers also arrived at the property.
The dying star had been in a coma-like state for two days prior to her death, according to Sunday newspapers.
Jade had reportedly been drifting in and out of consciousness since Friday.
She rose to prominence on the third series of Big Brother in 2002 by revealing a startling lack of general knowledge.
When she entered the house shortly before her 21st birthday she was facing legal action for an unpaid council tax bill. Six years later she was reputedly worth £2million.
She lived her life in public view through the pages of newspapers and glossy magazines and via a series of ‘fly on the wall’ programmes.
But Jade hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in 2007 when she was accused of racism and bullying towards Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty when the pair appeared on Celebrity Big Brother.
Shilpa traveled to the UK from India earlier this month to visit Jade, who unfortunately was too ill to accept her visit.
Jade’s stormy relationship with TV presenter and fellow reality star Jeff Brazier provided almost daily material for tabloid newspapers. The relationship ended after two years although the couple remained friends as they cared for their two children.
A second match with model Jack Tweed proved no more stable when he was jailed last year for assaulting a teenager.
The death of such a young woman and mother would be heartbreaking at any time, but Jade’s death carries a special poignancy coming as it did on Mother’s Day.
All thoughts are now turning to her two sons Bobby and Freddie. The boys had always been first in Jade’s mind.
As she clung to life yesterday her new husband Jack left her bedside to buy a moving Mother’s Day card.
It carried the message: ‘A mum is like a tea bag. Only in hot water do you realise how strong she is.’ A teacup on the card bore the message: ‘Love you, Jade’.
Whether you liked Jade Goody or not, this situation is terribly sad. A 27-year-old woman with two little boys should not have to die like this. Especially from a disease that is largely preventable and if caught in time, treatable! That’s why it’s so important to get your HPV screening every year. And if you have a preteen or teen daughter, make sure she gets the cervical cancer vaccine.