21 Feb 2021, 14:57
Jo Whiley has revealed her family were “talking palliative care” for her seriously ill disabled sister just 24 hours ago.
The Radio 2 DJ is currently beside herself with worry after her sister Frances was struck down with COVID-19.
Jo’s 53-year-old sister suffers from both the rare genetic condition Cri du Chat and diabetes, and is in intensive care.
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Appearing on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show today (February 22), the star spoke about Frances’ battle.
Holding back tears, Jo said: “It has been the worst week of our lives, without a shadow of a doubt.
“24 hours ago we were talking palliative care. Yesterday, she rallied round and we are seeing her oxygen levels rise so at the moment we have hope. 24 hours ago we didn’t have any hope at all.
“She is an amazing fighter, she always has been a great fighter. I’m just hoping her spirit gets her through.”
Jo Whiley says her family have had ‘the worst week of their lives’ due to the hospitalisation of her sister (Credit: Splashnews.com)
When did Jo Whiley’s sister contract COVID-19?
Jo first spoke publicly about her sister’s battle with COVID-19 on February 15.
She explained that Frances had not yet received a vaccine for the virus so had been shielding.
“Feel like I’m in a terrible film with bad plot twists,” Jo – who herself had been offered a vaccine that very day – said on social media.
“Late last night I got a call to say that Frances, my sister, had tested positive & has COVID.
But it’s too late, she’s fighting for her life in hospital.
“Our worst fears realised after keeping her safe for a year & with a vaccine so close… she’s okay so far.. Everything crossed.”
Worryingly, Frances’ condition quickly deteriorated.
Jo later pulled out of her usual Radio 2 slot, explaining to fans that she was feeling “very scared”.
Jo is calling for all people with learning disabilities to be vaccinated as a priority (Credit: BBC)
What else has Jo Whiley said about her sister’s fight?
Jo appeared on The Andrew Marr Show via video link and said she hadn’t yet received an update on Frances’ plight.
She told Andrew: “I actually don’t know [how she is] this morning, so am slightly anxious.
“I’ve been trying to call my mum and I haven’t heard anything.
“Waking up to having no news is a scary thing.”
She added: “It has been awful, absolutely awful. I don’t think my parents have slept for days.
“We are really fortunate because they allowed my mum and my dad to be with her, because the idea of Frances having to do this on her own is unthinkable.
“Also, people couldn’t cope with Frances. When she was admitted to hospital, she was so terrified, she rampaged through the hospital.
“Security guards had to be involved and restrain her. The fact my mum was there and was able to talk her down so they could give her oxygen was crucial.”
Hard to express the depth of my gratitude to the people who are working SO hard to save my sister’s life. Thanks to all of you who’ve listened & advised, shared your stories & yr support. Feels like the calm before the storm tonight but we’re not giving up yet 💜#TeamFrances #LD pic.twitter.com/Qr3aLc1gp7
— Jo Whiley (@jowhiley) February 19, 2021
What is Jo campaigning for?
Jo is currently campaigning for all people with learning disabilities to be offered a COVID-19 vaccine immediately.
In a cruel twist of fate, Frances has just been sent an appointment for her jab.
“She was actually called in for her vaccine last night,” Jo revealed to Andrew.
“My mum got a message to say she could get vaccinated. But it’s too late, she’s fighting for her life in hospital.
“I mean, it couldn’t be crueler. It couldn’t be crueler.”
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