I found the love of my life after my son died – but now my husband only has months left to live
- Mother-of-three Joanne Reeves, from Burnham-On-Sea, lost her son in 2014
- Read more: I fell in love at with a man 24 years older and now we’re expecting
A mother left devastated after her teenage son died has revealed how she found love while grieving – but her husband now tragically only has months left to live.
When 18-year-old Charley suddenly passed away in 2014, mother-of-three Joanne Reeves, from Burnham-On-Sea, was inconsolable and for a long time struggled to see a way forward.
Four years after her son’s death, in 2018, the 48-year-old met now husband, Benjamin Reeves, 38 – who brought love and a renewed joy back into her life.
However, in a tragic twist of fate, Ben, who was a plasterer, has been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and has just ‘months’ left to live.
‘I’m absolutely gutted to have met the love of my life and now he’s going to be taken away from me within months,’ Joanne, a teacher, told NeedToKnow.Online.
Joanne Reeves, from Burnham-On-Sea, left devastated after her teenage son died has revealed how she found love while grieving – but her husband now tragically only has months left to live (pictured Joanne and Benjamin together)
When 18-year-old Charley suddenly passed away in 2014, mother-of-three Joanne Reeves, from Burnham-On-Sea, was inconsolable and for a long time struggled to see a way forward
The mother was left devastated after her teenage son Charley passed away suddenly almost a decade ago
Despite missing Charley every day, the future felt a little brighter for the grieving mum and her two living children, Daisy, 19, and Harry, 26.
The couple moved in together after just two weeks of dating and five years later, on Christmas Day 2020, Ben popped the question – with the pair tying the knot a year later at a registry office in Bristol.
Ben was originally diagnosed with a brain tumour back in 2009 but doctors have been able to shrink the growing mass with surgeries, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Sadly, the tumour continued to grow and came back in 2015, with his case turning terminal in January 2023.
Joanne said: ‘Apart from Ben getting his words muddled a little bit, you wouldn’t actually know that anything is wrong.
‘The brain tumour was originally on the left-hand side and it’s now moved over to the right-hand side.
‘We’ve got a palliative care team at our local hospice involved in everything and we’re determined to enjoy the time he has left.
‘I don’t think I’ve ever felt love like I have with Ben, he’s just wonderful.
‘The children are absolutely devastated, they obviously lost their brother and saw how that affected me in a negative way with my mental health.
However, in a tragic twist of fate, Ben, who was a plasterer, has been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and has just ‘months’ left to live
‘Then obviously me meeting Ben has completed our family, especially because he’s amazing with them.
‘They absolutely love him to bits and he’s been like a father to the both of them and in particular a best friend to Harry.
‘It’s going to be hard for all of us and we are looking at having counselling as a family to try to come to terms with what’s happening.’
To make the most of the time they have left together, Joanne and Ben have recently renewed their wedding vows and celebrated their union with their friends and family.
He is also determined to be there for their seven-week-old granddaughters’ first Christmas this year.
Ben said: ‘I’m gonna die soon at some point and it makes me sad, especially at night, because I lie there thinking about the fact I’ll be leaving my wife and kids.’
When asked what’s on his ‘bucket list,’ Ben simply said: ‘To make my lovely wife happy.’
She revealed how her other children – Daisy and Harry – had been left devastated by their brother’s death in 2014
She said: ‘Finding out Ben only had months left to live was traumatic and emotional.
‘At first, I couldn’t stop crying, I think that was because I couldn’t believe what was happening.
‘When I met him, I just instantly fell in love with his smile, his personality, and just the way that he was towards me was just so loving.
‘I never thought I’d find happiness again after losing Charley and Ben is just the best person ever.
‘The way he smiles at me, the way he treats me, the way he loves me – just everything.
‘My heart is going to be destroyed yet again as I’ve just found happiness, but I’m determined to be strong for the children and for my granddaughter, as that’s what Ben would want.
When the mother-of-one first met him, she said she instantly fell in love with his smile, his personality, and just the way that he was towards her
She said she ‘never thought she’d find happiness again after losing Charley’ and called her husband Ben is ‘just the best person ever’
She said she is ‘determined to be strong for the children and for her granddaughter’ because that’s what Ben would want
The mother said her heart had been ‘destroyed’ as she found ‘happiness’ following her son’s death
Joanne’s best friend recently launched a JustGiving page to raise £1,000 to make memories with her husband and children
‘I’m going to miss him so much, as we do everything together and we are best friends.
‘It’s just absolutely devastating and I’m at a loss for words.’
Joanne’s best friend recently launched a JustGiving page to raise £1,000 to make memories with her husband and children.
The donations have surpassed the fundraising goal, which currently stands at £3,615.
Joanne added: ‘Bucket list is just to spend as much time together, explore as many places as possible and we obviously have to be careful because Ben gets tired at times.
‘We had 150 people come along to see us renew our vows, it was wonderful.
‘It was arranged by my best friend and my mom and we had an amazing day.
‘Benjamin has been an amazing dad to Harry and Daisy, they absolutely love him, as does Pixie-Rose, our granddaughter.
‘He’s just a wonderful, wonderful person and he’s a fighter.’
What is a brain tumour?
A brain tumour is a growth of cells in the brain that multiplies in an abnormal, uncontrollable way.
Grades and types of brain tumour
Brain tumours are graded according to how fast they grow and how likely they are to grow back after treatment.
Grade 1 and 2 tumours are low grade, and grade 3 and 4 tumours are high grade.
There are 2 main types of brain tumours:
- non-cancerous (benign) brain tumours – these are low grade (grade 1 or 2), which means they grow slowly and are less likely to return after treatment
- cancerous (malignant) brain tumours – these are high grade (grade 3 or 4) and either start in the brain (primary tumours) or spread into the brain from elsewhere (secondary tumours); they’re more likely to grow back after treatment
Symptoms of a brain tumour
The symptoms of a brain tumour vary depending on the exact part of the brain affected.
Common symptoms include:
- seizures (fits)
- persistently feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting) and drowsiness
- mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality
- progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
- vision or speech problems
Sometimes you may not have any symptoms to begin with, or they may develop very slowly over time.
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