With a beautiful home, a loving second husband and two handsome sons she raised as a single mum, Joh Griggs counts her blessings every day.
But earlier this year, behind her sunny smile, her world was collapsing.
The TV star, 43, had to face the very real possibility she’d lose the man she calls her “rock” – husband Todd Huggins – when he was rushed to hospital for an operation after scans showed a frightening lump in his throat.
And it was only because of Joh’s insistence the 43-year-old even had it checked – after she came home from a trip filming House Rules.
If she hadn’t intervened he may have even died in his sleep. “She had a sixth sense something was wrong,” reveals a family friend.
“It all came out of the blue. He had felt a mild lump in his throat when swallowing, and put it down to having a cold.
“Being a typical man who doesn’t whinge and just gets on with things, he just soldiered on. But Joh made him go to the doctor, who also thought it was probably nothing, but sent him off for an ultrasound.
“It turned out he had a mass in his throat bigger than a very large mango that was pressing down hard on his larynx. It was affecting his breathing and, if untreated, would eventually have suffocated him in his sleep. It was really, really scary stuff,” says the friend.
Joh, who hosts House Rules and Better Homes And Gardens, is universally respected as one of the most professional and hardworking TV stars in Australia. But while she smiled for the cameras, her private world was in turmoil.
“When Todd was in hospital, Joh was beside herself,” the family friend says.
“His neck was sliced open and the mass removed – and they managed to get all of it. But once it went off to be tested, there were no guarantees all would be well."
“It was an extremely anxious wait of several weeks – absolute murder for both Todd and Joh.”
Fortunately the news was good, and Joh and Todd were over the moon, telling friends just how lucky they were.
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