Laughing and joking on screen, for weeks Family Feud host Grant Denyer has been hiding the heartache of his wife Chezzi's secret health crisis.
The loved-up couple couldn’t even celebrate Chezzi’s 38th birthday several weeks ago, because she was in hospital having CT and MRI scans to diagnose the cause of her agonising migraines.
‘I’ve not experienced anything like it and thought it was caused by me detoxing,’ the mother-of-two recently revealed online in The Chezzi Diaries. ‘Within a week, the migraines had become so bad I was unable to really see and had to lie in a dark room with my eyes closed to try to get some relief.’
Heavy-duty steroids and antibiotics didn’t help. Painful pressure was building behind Chezzi’s left eye and she was suffering from vertigo so severe, she battled to keep her balance.
With small daughters Sailor, six, and Scout, two, on her hands – and a husband who’s frequently absent for work – the vibrant Mummy Time TV founder admits she was struggling to cope. Forbidden from driving on doctor’s orders, even the 20km school run from the family home near Bathurst proved a major obstacle.
‘I am really struggling to just get through my everyday life,’ the subdued Jeans For Genes ambassador told followers on her popular blog. ‘Some days are worse than others... The worst thing is that it has made me impatient and cranky as a mum, and that’s just not fair on my beautiful little kids.’
Chezzi’s acute sinus problems – and resulting migraines – are the legacy of an injury sustained when the left side of her nose was badly smashed during a basketball game, aged 15.
Over the years, several operations provided a temporary fix – but Grant and Chezzi are now pinning their hopes for a permanent solution on surgery scheduled for December 6.
‘Until then, I just have to ride it out as best I can. It’s a crappy ending to what has been a really strange and unpredictable year,’ says the former Sunrise producer, sending a heartfelt message of support to all those fighting illness or debilitating conditions.
Counting her blessings, Chezzi adds: ‘My beautiful and loving husband is my tower of strength and I’ve been depending on him so much lately. I love him to absolute pieces. Thank you, Grant.’
Wishing Chezzi all the luck today in her surgery!
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea - out now!