Mr Motivator in tears recounting grandchild's death in emotional Morning Live interview | The Sun

MR Motivator was in tears as he recounted his granddaughter's death during an emotional Morning Live interview.

The popular exercise guru – real name Derrick Evans – was on the BBC show to raise awareness about meningitis and its symptoms following the tragic death of his granddaughter Hadassah.

The 12-year-old passed away on the Caribbean island of Antigua – where she lived with her mother Caroline – in November last year after a five-day battle with the illness.

Speaking to hosts Kym Marsh and Gethin Jones, Derrick, 69, said: "It's perhaps been the darkest three or four months of my life."

Choosing his words carefully, the emotional star continued: "It's very easy to focus on the fact we've lost our grandchild, but the toughest bit has been dealing with my daughter, because she has to live every day with the pain and as her dad I've looked after her since she was three years of age.

"So for me every time she was bunged up I was there to clear her nostrils and I'll always remember, an 18-minute call from Antigua where's she's outside the ICU unit and she's screaming 'Dad! Do something!" and erm…"

The star was unable to finish his sentence as he teared up and composed himself, while Gethin acknowledged how hard it must have been for him to be so far away from his daughter and granddaughter.

Derrick replied: "As parents, we always want to ease the pain don't we?"

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The show's doctor Alexander van Tulleken then explained to viewers about symptoms of meningitis and what parents can do if they are concerned about their children.

Viewers took to Twitter to praise Derrick for raising awareness while in the midst of his own grief.

One wrote: "My heart goes out to Mr Motivator, heartbreaking."

Another added: "@GethincJones Good to have you back! Really felt for
@MrMotivator this morning. Very brave."

A third tweeted: "@MrMotivator you absolute legend. Raising awareness of meningitis at a time that is so very difficult for you. Sending so much love to you & your family xx."

A fellow viewer agreed, writing: "@MrMotivator my heart aches for you and your family. Your beautiful granddaughter would be proud of the courage shown by you all. Life can be so cruel. Sending a hug to you all."

What is meningitis?

It can be mistaken as the flu or even a hangover – but knowing the symptoms of potentially deadly meningitis could save your life.

It is the inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord and can be caused by meningococcal bacteria and viral meningitis.

If it is not treated quickly, meningitis can cause life-threatening septicaemia (blood poisoning) and result in permanent damage to the brain or nerves.

The two forms of the disease have different symptoms.

Around 3,200 people a year get bacterial meningitis. One in 10 die and many more are left with life-changing disabilities.

Viral forms of meningitis are less common and rarely life-threatening, but can have lifelong effects.

Infections peak during winter when bugs spread more easily in confined spaces.

Meningitis is usually passed on from people who carry the virus or bacterial form in their throat or nose, but aren't ill themselves.

It can be spread through kissing, sneezing, coughing and sharing household items such as toothbrushes or cutlery.

It is thought that the bacteria are able to invade the body more easily via the nose and throat during winter due to recent infection with flu virus.

The illness can be caught from someone who is ill with meningitis but this is more rare.

The symptoms of meningitis develop suddenly and include:

  • A high fever over 37.5 degrees – the average human temperature
  • being sick
  • a headache
  • a blotchy rash that doesn't fade when a glass is rolled over it
  • stiffness, especially in the neck
  • sensitivity to bright lights
  • drowsiness, irritability or lack of energy
  • cold hands and feet
  • seizures

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