Original article at The Sunday Telegraph by Zoe Nauman September 18, 2011
The wife of Spartacus star Andy Whitfield tearfully recalls his last words
The beloved wife of actor Andy Whitfield has tearfully recalled the brave Spartacus star’s final words to his kids: “I am going to go to sleep now as my body won’t work any more. I am like a butterfly with broken wings.”
Vashti, 38, of Paddington, said the actor had tried to remain strong until the end and never lost hope he would be able to beat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the cancer which took his life last weekend.
He also made an emotional deathbed promise to his young family, telling his children Jesse Red, 6, and Indigo Sky, 4, “I will always be with you and will always be watching over you. I love you.”
Born in Wales, Whitfield moved to Sydney in 1999 and first won attention after stints in a number TV shows, including All Saints and Packed To The Rafters after attending Screenwise Film And Television School in Surry Hills to fine-tune his craft.
But he became an international star when he won the lead role in the series Spartacus: Blood And Sand, which attracted a cult following in the UK and US. It screened on Go! in Australia.
The couple were in New Zealand at the time filming the show, which took a break so the actor could have treatment.
He underwent 12 weeks of chemotherapy: “That was actually quite gentle,” revealed Vashti, “and it was in some ways a wonderful time. It was the first time he spent time with his kids. He wasn’t that poorly through that.”
The couple got the news that Whitfield was clear in June, and Vashti says they were overjoyed: “We were so happy and relieved.”
But in September 2010 they were told the cancer was back.
“Our hearts were broken” said Vashti.
“Everyone’s language changed. They said it meant he had never really beaten it the first time.“Vashti says the thing that made Andy most sad was he wouldn’t be there for his children: “He was very sad about that.
“But the children look so much like him. And they can look in he mirror every day and see their dad.”
Vashti added it is important to always have hope if you have a family member with cancer: “Accept the diagnosis not the prognosis. There are millions of people out there who overcome this.
“And always try to do normal special things, like seeing a great film and spending time together.”
Image courtesy of The Sunday Telegraph