Less than a week after Anna ‘Chickadee’ Cardwell lost her battle with stage 4 cancer, the reality TV star’s family is reflected on her final days.
While speaking to PEOPLE about his wife’s fight with stage 4 adrenal carcinoma, Eldridge Toney spoke about first finding out about the cancer. “At first, what we thought was kidney stones was actually a mass,” Toney explained. “But we were told it was stage 2 and she was clear. When the doctors in Atlanta called us on a video chat and said it was stage 4, my stomach dropped.”
Toney stated that he tried his best to keep calm for Anna Cardwell after being told the diagnosis. “But Anna did her best to stay strong. She was super strong for her family. She was in so much pain all the time, and we knew what the stage 4 diagnosis meant.”
However, Toney explained that he and Cardwell agreed not to talk to the doctor about an exact time frame. “We agreed we did not want to be told she has six months or something like that. But there was a realistic factor. We knew time was limited but we agreed and asked the doctors to not give us a time. We never wanted to know.”
After the diagnosis was confirmed, Toney and Cardwell married in March. He continued to support his wife nonstop as she went through chemo. Less than a year after finding out she had cancer, Anna Cardwell passed away. She was 29 years old.
Anna Cardwell’s Husband Recalled Making Tough Decisions When It Came to Work and Family
As Eldridge Toney continued to speak to PEOPLE about Anna Cardwell’s cancer journey, he admitted to making tough decisions when it came to working and being with their family. Her treatments were done in Atlanta, which is hours from their home in Milledgeville, Georgia.
“I tried to be there as much as I could,” Toney said. “But we both agreed that bills had to be paid and I needed to work. But when she called me I would drop what I was doing and drive to be by her side. Even when it meant leaving at 3 a.m. to make it back to work by 6 a.m.”
Toney then said there were times when Cardwell was scared and he would end up staying by her side at the hospital. “That meant taking off work, with no pay, because I didn’t want her to be alone.”
However, Toney declared he would do everything he did over again just to make sure Anna Cardwell was ok. “I wish I could never left her side,” he went on to add. “But we agreed that I needed to work because bills kept coming in.”
Toney held his wife’s hand as she took her final breaths on Dec. 9.