Emmerdale star Liam Fox’s fiancee Joanna Hudson reveals she was ‘weeks away from death’ because of rare autoimmune disease


EMMERDALE star Liam Fox’s fiancee Joanna Hudson has revealed how she came close to death because of a rare autoimmune disease.

Joanna, 44, got engaged to the Dan Spencer actor earlier this year, and has now opened up about the 2015 health battle that almost took her life.

Liam Fox’s fiancee is opening up about her health battle

She told OK! magazine: “I was seriously ill in 2015 and nearly lost my life, which makes me appreciate what I have with Liam even more.

“I nearly died from a tumour; when it was discovered, I was weeks away from death.

“I realised something was wrong when I started getting double vision so I went to Specsavers who gave me glasses, but that didn’t help.

“I was eventually referred to a consultant and was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis [a rare autoimmune disease that causes muscle weakness].

The pair got engaged earlier this year

What is myasthenia gravis?

It’s a rare long-term condition that causes muscle weakness.


Myasthenia gravis commonly affects the muscles that control the eyes and eyelids, facial expressions, chewing, swallowing and speaking.


It can affect most parts of the body. It typically affects women under 40 and men over 60.


Common symptoms of myasthenia gravis include:

  • Droopy eyelids
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty making facial expressions
  • Problems with chewing and difficulty swallowing
  • Slurred speech
  • Weak arms, legs or neck shortness of breath and occasionally serious breathing difficulties

“The consultant gave me a scan, which discovered I had a tumour caused by the illness growing on my thymus gland [near the heart], which would’ve killed me if it wasn’t discovered.

“I had it removed and three months later I was fully recovered!”

Liam, 44, revealed in April that he had asked for Joanna’s hand in marriage.

Liam was previously married to Hollyoaks star Nicole Barber-Lane. They first met in 1997 when they were both trainee teachers at Tameside college in Manchester.

Liam and Jo met in the ’90s while studying media and performance at Salford University

They share two children and they divorced in 2015 after 16 years of marriage.

When they split, they said: “It is with much sadness that we confirm the end of our marriage, though our family unit remains strong.

“We will always love and respect each other and are united by our children and family remaining at the centre of our lives.”

Liam’s character Dan Spencer first arrived on Emmerdale in 2011.

He worked as an actor on Coronation Street, Casualty, and Cold Feet before landing the role in Emmerdale.

Liam and Jo met in the ’90s while studying media and performance at Salford University.

The pair lost contact before reuniting and falling for each other in 2017.

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