Eldridge Toney is speaking out for the first time since the death of his wife, Anna Cardwell.
As The Ashley reported earlier this week, Anna passed away last Saturday after a nearly year-long battle with Stage 4 cancer. Anna’s mother, Mama June Shannon, announced the sad news Sunday on social media. While many of Anna’s family members— including June and Anna’s sisters— have spoken out about the 29-year-old’s death, Eldridge had not made any public comments about it until now.
“Everyone was crying and freaking out, because we all knew what was happening,” Eldridge said. “I did my best to be calm for her. I rubbed my hands through her hair, held her hand and told her it was going to be OK.
“I was holding her hand when she took her final breath,” he added.
Eldridge revealed that he also made a vow to Anna prior to her passing to keep her memory alive for her daughters, Kaitlyn and Kylee. (Eldridge is not the biological father of either of the girls.)
“The day before she passed, we had our talk and said our goodbyes,” Eldridge said. “Her dying wish was for her girls to grow up knowing who their mother was. And I promised I would do right by the girls always.
“I will spend my life doing right by Anna and the girls,” he said.
In the wake of Anna’s death, her oldest daughter, Kaitlyn, is now being cared for by June, while younger daughter, Kylee, is living with her father, Michael Cardwell, who is Anna’s ex-husband.
While Eldridge is not the biological father of either of Anna’s daughters, he plans to maintain the close relationship he has with them.
“Those are my girls,” he said. “I promised Anna I would do right by them and make sure they remembered their mama. And that is what I will do.”
Elridge spoke to the magazine about how hard it has been to go back to the now-empty home he once shared with Anna and the girls.
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“It is going to be very lonely,” he said. “It’s getting harder…
“[Anna] was the one I was supposed to grow old with,” he added. “She was my one true love, she was that for me. I will never stop loving her. There will never be another Anna.”
Eldridge and Anna began dating in 2017, after she separated from Michael Cardwell. They got married after Anna found out she had cancer, eventually getting hitched on March 4. Their wedding was reportedly filmed for the upcoming season of Mama June: Road to Redemption.
“We decided to get married after we received the Stage 4 diagnosis,” Eldridge said. “We didn’t get married because she had cancer. We just sped up the process because it was always something we planned to do.”
It was reported earlier this week that Anna wanted her fight against adrenal carcinoma documented for her family’s reality show, so she allowed a WEtv crew to film her right up until the end. The show’s production team reportedly declined the invite to film Anna’s very last moments, leaving before she died Saturday at her mother’s home.