Tom Parker’s widow Kelsey has detailed how she held her husband’s hand as he died last month, adding: ‘It was still beautiful until the very end.’
The Wanted singer Tom died aged 33 following a battle with brain cancer after he was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma in October 2020, and was given just 12 months to live by doctors.
He passed away while surrounded by family and his fellow bandmates as he listened to the Oasis song Live Forever, with Kelsey telling The Sun on Sunday she was the last person by his side: ‘It was just us and there was so much love in that room.’
Emotional: Tom Parker’s widow Kelsey has said she held her husband’s hand as he died last month, adding: ‘It was still beautiful until the very end’
Mother-of-two Kelsey insisted Tom was in no pain as he died and said she’d told their two-year-old daughter Aurelia that she was going to make sure angels were looking after her father.
While she fell in love with Tom as a teenager before he rose to fame with The Wanted, she says her best days with him were those shortly before his death.
The boyband star spent his last days in St Christopher’s Hospice in South London and Kelsey was there by his side throughout.
Illness: The Wanted singer died following a battle with brain cancer after he was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma in October 2020 (pictured with children Aurelia and Bodhi)
Tears: Tom’s funeral took place on April 20 as Champagne Supernova by Oasis played in the street while Tom’s bandmates carried his coffin
She said of the time before he died: ‘I got into bed with him. We were in bed together for two hours, I just wanted that time with him. I didn’t want anyone coming in. We needed that time together to talk.’
Kelsey insisted even the days at the hospice with Tom were ‘romantic’, adding that he ‘absolutely worshipped the ground I walked on’.
She said he was ‘still trying to figure a way out’ of his illness a week after he arrived at the hospice.
‘I said, “You know Tom, I will be OK, the kids will be OK. I will make sure that everything you want them to know, the things that you’ve taught me over the years, I promise to teach them it all.”
‘He said, “I know you’re going to be OK.” He then took off his wedding ring and put it on my finger.’
Kelsey said she thought Tom knew the end of his life was approaching but he still had ‘fight’ in him.
In September 2021, 11 months on from his diagnosis, Tom sang at the Stand Up 2 Cancer show at the Royal Albert Hall and even embarked on a Greatest Hits tour with his bandmates when the tumour was confirmed as ‘stable’ in November.
But Tom’s condition deteriorated rapidly once the tour came to an end earlier this year.
The tragic news of his death was confirmed by Kelsey, who he has left behind along with their two children, Aurelia, two, and Bodhi, one.
Kelsey and Tom were last seen in public together at the London 02 Arena on March 15 where Tom performed with his The Wanted bandmates Max George, 33, Jay McGuinness, 31, Siva Kaneswaran, 33, and 29-year-old Nathan Sykes.
‘We are truly thankful for the outpouring of love and support and ask that we all unite to ensure Tom’s light continues to shine for his beautiful children,’ Tom’s wife Kelsey said after his death
She was spotted tenderly kissing him on the head before he took to the stage with his group.
Kelsey said she was ‘so proud’ Tom chose to go on tour again but said she noticed something different about him after that performance, putting it down to exhaustion at first.
She said he went ‘downhill’ from there and wanted to go into the hospice while Kelsey would have preferred him to stay at home.
Kelsey claims Tom didn’t want to put his loved ones through any more pain so chose to seek medical help.
Of the day he died, Kelsey said the music in his room was not turned off, describing it as his ‘life’ and ‘passion’.
Family: The tragic news was confirmed by his wife Kelsey, 32, whom he leaves behind along with their two children, Aurelia, two, and Bodhi, one
Heartfelt: In a lengthy caption Kelsey said she ‘couldn’t imagine life without his infectious smile and energetic presence’
She said how she’d told Tom to give her signs after he died and she went to sit outside and cry after he passed, only to look up and see a feather fall from the sky.
Kelsey went on to say she’s been honest with her children about everything that’s happened but found telling them that their father had died extremely ‘tough’.
Tom’s funeral took place on April 20 as Champagne Supernova by Oasis played in the street while Tom’s bandmates carried his coffin.
She insists Tom would have loved his funeral, adding that he had no clue about just how many hearts he’d touched during his life.
Kelsey concluded by insisting she’ll continue to look for the positives in life and will be on the watch for signs from Tom.
Stars: File photo dated 12/09/10 of (back row, left – right) Siva Kaneswaran, Tom Parker, Jay McGuiness, (front row, left- right) Max George, Nathan Sykes of The Wanted backstage at the Help For Heroes Concert at Twickenham Stadium, south west London
In the final picture posted on his Instagram account before his death, Parker shared this snap of him on stage with his bandmates
After his death last month, Kelsey said in a statement: ‘It is with the heaviest of hearts that we confirm Tom passed away peacefully earlier today with all of his family by his side.
‘Our hearts are broken. Tom was the centre of our world and we can’t imagine life without his infectious smile and energetic presence.
‘We are truly thankful for the outpouring of love and support and ask that we all unite to ensure Tom’s light continues to shine for his beautiful children.’
She went on to thank everyone who has cared for Tom during his illness, adding that he fought the disease until the very end.
Soul mates: Kelsey commented on a number of the reposts including one from actress Michelle Keegan (left), who was previously engaged to Tom’s bandmate Max George, which called the couple ‘soul mates’
A statement posted on the band’s official Instagram account read: ‘The whole Wanted family are devastated by the tragic and premature loss of our bandmate Tom Parker, who passed away peacefully at lunchtime today surrounded by his family and his band mates.
‘Tom was an amazing husband to Kelsey, and father to Aurelia and Bodhi. He was our brother, words can’t express the loss and sadness we feel. Always and forever in our hearts.’
Kelsey reposted a string of tributes from friends on her Instagram Stories in the hours after her husband’s death, including many which referred to the devoted couple as ‘soulmates.’
Hospital: This image, taken from a reel shared on Tom Parker’s official Instagram account, shows the singer recovering from an operation related to the disease in a hospital gown
Cancer battle: Tom was given just 12 months to live when he was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma in 2020 at the age of 31. Yet in October 2021, a year after he went public with his diagnosis, he was continuing to make public appearances and used his fame to advocate for more funding for brain tumour research, which only receives around one per cent of total cancer research funding (image of a young Tom Parker shared on Instagram by his wife Kelsey)
She commented on a number of the reposts including one from actress Michelle Keegan, who was previously engaged to Tom’s bandmate Max George.
Michelle wrote that she was ‘absolutely heartbroken for Kelsey,’ adding that it ‘was an honour to witness first hand their love, they really are the true definition of soul mates.’ Kelsey wrote in reply: ‘Love you. You knew how our love was so pure and honest, soul mates until the end’.
On another post shared by a friend about the cheeky voice notes Tom would leave his loved ones, Kelsey wrote: ‘This is Tom Parker everyone. He changed so many lives in such a small amount of time. Tom Parker I f**king love you. Such a legend. Just the fact that he would send messages like this… I mean can you imagine the messages I got.’
Saying goodbye: Kelsey broke down in tears after paying tribute to her ‘soulmate’ at the popstar’s funeral in south-east London this month
Tears: Kelsey, whom he married in 2018, broke down as she left the service, after earlier leading the funeral procession of a horse and carriage through the streets of the couple’s local community
Kelsey broke down in tears after paying tribute to her ‘soulmate’ at the popstar’s funeral in south-east London earlier this month, saying: ‘If love alone could have saved you, you would have lived forever’.
Before the service, The Wanted star’s bandmates were pictured carrying the star’s black coffin adorned with lilies into the Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Church in Petts Wood.
Kelsey, whom he married in 2018, broke down as she left the service and kissed Tom’s coffin, after earlier leading the funeral procession of a horse and carriage through the streets of the couple’s local community.
Loss: Tom’s The Wanted bandmates Max George, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness and Nathan Sykes were pictured carrying the star’s black coffin into the Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Church in Petts Wood for his funeral
Crowds: Mourners lined the streets as Tom’s coffin was carried along the route ahead of the service
A pre-recorded message from Kelsey was played at his funeral service within which she shared anecdotes about how the pair first met at a nightclub before he shot to fame with The Wanted, adding: ‘From that moment I told everyone I wanted to marry Tom Parker.’
The congregation erupted into laughter as she said: ‘Tom told me he was going to be famous and wouldn’t have time for a girlfriend, but he wouldn’t leave me alone.
‘I will treasure every memory because life with you was never dull. You were always coming up with songs, new game shows and we all know how much you loved an invention – I bet you were gutted you never made it on Dragons’ Den.
‘Marrying you was the best day of my life… soulmates, that’s what we are,’ she said, ending the speech by telling Tom: ‘If love alone could have saved you, you would have lived forever.’
Final kiss goodbye: Kelsey was seen embracing the coffin before it was driven away in the hearse. She placed a single white rose on top before kissing the coffin
WHAT IS A GLIOBLASTOMA AND JUST HOW DEADLY IS IT?
Glioblastoma is considered the most aggressive tumor that can form in the brain.
Patients have a 10 percent chance of surviving five years after their diagnosis, according to figures.
The average lifespan is between 14 and 16 months.
Three adults per every 100,000 will be struck down with a glioblastoma, says The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS).
It is most commonly found in men aged 50 to 60, and there is no link between developing glioblastoma and having a previous history with other cancers.
WHAT IS THE TUMOR MADE OF?
The tumor is made up of a mass of cells growing quickly in the brain, and in most cases patients have no family history of the disease.
It won’t spread to other organs, however, once it is diagnosed, it is nearly impossible to target, surgeons claim.
WHAT TREATMENT IS AVAILABLE?
Because the tumor likely already spread deep into the brain by the time it is diagnosed, the cancerous tissue is incredibly difficult to remove.
Surgeon will only ever remove the tumor, or part of the tumor, if it won’t do any damage to the surrounding brain tissue.
Dr Babcar Cisse, a neurosurgeon at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center, told Daily Mail Online in July 2017: ‘By the time a glioblastoma is diagnosed, microfibers can spread to the rest of the brain which an MRI would not spot.
‘So even if the main tumor is removed and the patient receives radiation and chemotherapy, it will come back.’
GRADING A GLIOBLASTOMA
Brain tumors are graded from between one to four, depending on how fast they grow and how aggressive they are.
Malignant tumors are either given a high-grade three or four, while benign ones are given a lower grade one or two.
Patients typically complain of symptoms such as confused vision, trouble with memory, dizziness and headaches.
The symptoms are somewhat nonspecific, and vary from person to person, and may not persist.
The disease is therefore impossible to diagnose based on symptoms alone.