Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas has opened up about his battle with depression, which was initially brought about by fertility struggles ?


He's now battling depression again - and coping with immense grief after the sudden death of his beloved wife Gemma, from leukemia, in November 2017.

But in a new post on his blog, A Grief Shared, Simon wrote about the beginning of his secret mental health battle in great detail. It all stemmed from when he and Gemma began trying for a 2nd baby after welcoming their son, Ethan, in 2009.

Fair warning: Simon's story is pretty heartbreaking ?

It's gonna be a tough read for anyone who might've been through something similar, and faced a similar outcome.

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Nevertheless, we thought it was important to share it, because know how painful infertility and miscarriage can be for both women and men, and because it's SO important to share your feelings with someone, anyone, when you're really struggling, and to know you're not alone.

Simon's done just that - he's sharing his story and talking about it. He came out the other side for a good while, so we're hopeful he'll be able to do the same again soon ?

Here's some of what he wrote, in his own words:

"On a Tuesday afternoon whilst I was preparing for my shift on Sky Sports News, I had a call from my distraught wife Gemma who had discovered that the tests had revealed she had a very low egg count and that the chances of us conceiving naturally were very very low.

"It was a hammer blow. A few months later after much thought and soul searching we decided to go down the IVF route.

"Although you go into something like this with your eyes wide open and with all the statistics on success rates before you, there is still nothing that can prepare you for when it doesn’t work.

"After weeks of poor Gemma having to inject herself and take various drugs every day, and then the procedure itself in the hospital, the IVF didn’t work.

"It left us both on the floor but worse was to come."

Months went by and Gemma fell pregnant - naturally, the couple were elated, and hopeful, given that her pregnancy with Ethan was normal.

"4 weeks later, I awoke to Gemma next to me in our bed in tears. She had discovered some bleeding and feared the worst.

"Hours later, after a painful long wait in the Royal Berkshire Hospital, our fears were realised – she’d had a miscarriage.

"If the first round was a hammer blow, this was like being hit by a ten-tonne truck. Having been given the briefest flicker of hope our dreams of a brother or sister for our boy Ethan were in tatters.

"As anyone who has been through any kind of fertility problems knows, it’s a tough road to walk.

"Unless you decide to cut yourself off from the rest of the world you are surrounded by a world where it appears that most of your friends are able to pop out babies like a cash dispenser dispenses ten pound notes.

"I had withdrawn from the world and to a lesser extent my wife. I was angry, I was upset and I was frustrated that this was a problem I could not fix however much money I threw at it.

"The trouble was that cave was a dark place, and over the next few weeks as I remained in that dark ‘cave’ angry at the world, I began to spiral downwards into a much darker place in my life.

"As the days and weeks went on after Gemma’s miscarriage I became more and more detached from what was going on around us. I struggled to be around close friends.

"I was starting to struggle to even get out of bed. Some days I just wanted to stay there and never get out of it again – the darkness was closing in."

By the time Christmas rolled around, Simon had reached his lowest ebb. He recalled a night at the pub left him sobbing uncontrollably in front his friends, and even contemplating suicide.

"I stood there alone in the freezing night, alone with my thoughts and now with the thought that I didn’t want to go on.

"You may be reading this thinking why? Why when you already had been blessed with a child could you be this affected?

simon thomas

"OK it’s sad that you couldn’t have any more children but look at the blessing you already have? I couldn’t agree more, except I didn’t decide to be like this.

"Yes it was me who decided to allow my disappointment and anger over the miscarriage to fester and grow, but the place I was now in was entirely different, this was something I had no control over."

Fortunately, Simon was able to seek professional help, reach out to friends and take anti-depressants, which helped alleviate his symptoms.

"That was the worst place I reached, and over many weeks of medication, counselling and talking about it with Gemma and close friends the clouds eventually began to clear.

"I was able to re-join life, and love and appreciate what I already had – an amazing wife and son who loved me unconditionally and needed me weaknesses and all.

"And for the next few years that’s the life I was able to lead."


Share your story

Have you struggled with infertility and miscarriage - and would you like to share your story? Please feel free to reach out on Facebook, our forum or via our contact email.

Images: Twitter/Simon Thomas

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