Sunrise presenter Edwina Bartholomew has revealed her husband Neil Varcoe has been battling a 'really tough' illness in recent years.
Speaking with The Australian Women's Weekly, Edwina and Neil shared that he was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome five years ago.
The pair explained that the condition has made raising their young children Molly, three, and Tom, one, even more challenging.
"It just really knocked me," Neil told the publication. "I was sick for about three weeks and my energy went through the floor. There were moments when I would walk to the end of my street, and I had to turn around and come back home. I had nothing left."
He revealed that after he returned to work, he still wasn't quite right, later catching a virus three months later, which he still hasn't recovered from.
"With Edwina's support, I've had to make really tough decisions," he shared. "Some days, for instance, I'll only be able to read Molly and Tom a story, but I won't be able to be involved in the bath. It sounds like a small thing but some days that's where you're at ... If you don't respect it, it just wrestles you to the ground."
Edwina teared up during the interview, describing the first few weeks of motherhood as "overwhelming" as she wasn't able to lean on Neil as much, and this was heightened when they welcomed their son.
"Second time around, it was just as intense for those first six or eight weeks," Edwina said. "You just go, 'Oh my gosh, this is confronting.'"
The newsreader shared that they now have someone to help in the mornings as she is on air for Sunrise and can't be at home and Neil can't do it all solo.
Edwina and Neil's 'exciting' announcement
It comes after Edwina made the announcement that she and Neil purchased a historic hotel in Carcoar, NSW, called The Victoria.
“Today is a big day for our little family,” Edwina wrote on Instagram. “@neilwrites officially shifts from working in digital media to full-time farming @warramba and kick-starting @thevictoria1846.
“Neil was born and raised in Lithgow and went to school in Bathurst so it’s pretty exciting he now gets to contribute to the extraordinary growth in the Central West. He is also the proud new owner of a very big jacket and a beard to survive the winter.”
Edwina also revealed that the family will be separated during the week, as she stays with the children closer to her job in Sydney and he works in Carcoar.
We have our first stay in Carcoar as a family this weekend. We will miss him during the week but let the commuting, designing, renovation fun begin,” she said.
Edwina and Neil announced at the beginning of May that they had sold their house and bought The Victoria Hotel.
“In 1846, the Victoria Hotel was built on the banks of the Belubula River in Carcoar. It was a single story inn, visited by locals, travellers and the odd bushranger. 177 years later, on that very same parcel of land, The Victoria returns to welcome a new generation of guests,” Edwina wrote online.
“Carcoar is the third oldest settlement, west of the Blue Mountains. Home to @tomolly_carcoar and the Good Food Guide listed @anticacarcoar, The Victoria is a reimagining of Stoke House, which has been operating as a guest house since the 1800s.
“A new chapter for the town that time forgot. A new full-time project for @neilwrites. A new side hustle for me in addition to @warramba and waking up with you every morning on @sunriseon7.”
She revealed that the couple plan to spend the next few years renovating the hotel, with a grand opening hopefully set to happen in 2025, “with a lot of Fawlty Towers updates to come between now and then”.
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