TRAGIC Coronation Street star Sophiya Haque spent “a few precious nights” on the houseboat she had designed with her partner in West Byfleet before dying suddenly of cancer last week at the age of 41.
David White said Sophiya, who played barmaid Poppy Morales in the ITV1 soap, had been “extremely fit and healthy” during the 12 months the couple had spent building their dream home.
The 51-year-old West End musical director had been living with Sophiya in Knaphill when she began complaining of tremendous backache and abdominal pain last month.
Mr White, who had been with the actress for six years, said Sophiya took painkillers and kept performing until December 22 before seeing her GP on January 2.
She was admitted to hospital the same day. He said: “She had that ‘show must go on’ mentality. We hit this awful situation around Christmas and new year when everything was closed, so we didn’t get a doctor’s appointment until January 2, and we were told to go straight to hospital.”
He added: “We managed to spend a few precious nights on the boat together before she went to hospital. She was having huge trouble breathing while she was in hospital.
“Apparently a blood clot could have been thrown up into her lung. Her heart was beating very fast to try and get oxygen into her system.
“It became harder for her to breathe and she blacked out. A few minutes later her heart stopped. It was not something I expected that day.
“It was a terrible shock.” Sophiya died in hospital last Thursday (January 17) just a few weeks after our Entertainments Editor Barry Rutter interviewed her about her West End role in the Peter Nichols farce Privates on Parade.
The actress, born down in Portsmouth, Hampshire, had urged Woking’s theatre-goers to take advantage of a ticket promotion to see the Michael Grandage production at the Noel Coward theatre in London.
At the time of going to press, Mr White was still waiting to find out what type of cancer Sophiya had suffered, which doctors believe might have been growing for months. He said: “They think it may be ovarian because there are often very few symptoms.
The second set of results came back inconclusive the day after she died.
“I still want to know what the cancer was, although I am coming to terms with the fact that nothing is going to bring her back.”
Sophiya’s stint on Coronation Street ran from 2008 to 2009.
She also starred alongside Angelina Jolie in the hit film Wanted, while her West End appearances included Bombay Dreams, The Far Pavilions and Wah! Wah! Girls.
Mr White added: “She was the most amazing person to live with. It was a life full of laughter and joy.”