My Mum Your Dad’s Dani describes the devastating loss of her Ninja Warrior husband Paul

‘It’s your worst nightmare.'

By TV Week team
When two-time Olympian and Australian Ninja Warrior competitor Paul Lyons died from a cardiac arrest in 2019, his wife Dani and three stepchildren were left devastated.
"He's the last person on Earth you'd think would pass away in his sleep," Dani, who's now appearing on My Mum Your Dad, tells TV WEEK. "He lived and breathed fitness. To wake up to have your husband passed away beside you is everybody's worst nightmare."
Dani's husband passed after a cardiac arrest. (Image: Supplied)
Paul, who represented Australia in taekwondo and competed on the second season of Australian Ninja Warrior in 2018, ran a gym in Melbourne, where he helped people with additional needs and mental health issues.
"He was a champion of the underdog," Dani, 51, says.
Paul gave Dani's son Brandon, who has autism, a job at his gym. He still works there.
"He made me feel worthy," Brandon, 28, tells TV WEEK.
"He made me feel worthy," Brandon, 28, tells TV WEEK. (Image: Supplied)
After Paul died, interior decorator Dani tried to hide her grief from her children – "I used to do my crying in the shower and on the way to work" – but was open in saying she expected to remain single for the rest of her life. "I never thought I would love anybody ever again," she says.
When one of Dani's friends suggested she go on My Mum Your Dad, where single parents are matched up by their children, Brandon got behind the idea.
"Mum is this incredible, beautiful, powerful, strong person," he says. "She deserves to find love again."
Before going on the show, Dani was worried for Brandon.
"He suffers from social anxiety," she explains. "Knowing he was going to be in a different house and me not being able to reach him was really stressful."
But as viewers will see, it's Dani who struggles when her first attempt at making a connection takes an unfortunate turn. When Brandon sees Dani left vulnerable, it hits him hard.
"It was horrific for me to watch and very upsetting," he says.
Will what happens see Dani and Brandon quit the show?

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