‘It doesn’t end’ Radio 2’s Jo Whiley gives update on sister after terrifying health battle

Jo Whiley provides update on her sister’s battle with Covid

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Earlier this year, Jo Whiley began campaigning for people with learning difficulties to be given the coronavirus vaccine as a matter of propriety. The radio star made her comments after her sister Frances, 53, who has a learning disability and diabetes, was struck down by the virus.

In February, Jo pulled out of her BBC Radio 2 show after her sibling was admitted to hospital.

The 55-year-old said she felt “scared” when informing listeners of her absence.

She tweeted at the time: “I can’t do my @BBCRadio2 show this evening. My sister Frances is v poorly in hospital with Covid.

“I don’t feel shiny or happy tonight, I feel very scared,”(sic) she continued.

Giving an update on her sister’s health this week, Jo told Radio Times: “She’s doing OK.”

She went on to reveal that Frances had now received both doses of the coronavirus vaccination, giving her added protection against the deadly virus.

Although her sibling is now well, Jo admitted that caring for loved-ones with a disability was an “ongoing situation”.

“She’s been double-jabbed,” she went on to tell the publication, with relief.

“I think she’s made of something extraordinary to have survived what she did. But it is an ongoing situation when you’ve got someone with learning disabilities in your family.

“She’s survived Covid, but it [the care] doesn’t end.

“It’s been really hard for people who couldn’t leave their care homes; there are only so many jigsaws you can do.

“But thank goodness life is starting up again, and there are places she can go,” she added with optimism.

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In an earlier Twitter update, Jo said Francis had made a good recovery but detailed the complications that she faced following her battle with Covid.

She said her parents were “exhausted beyond belief” as they dealt with her “worrying diabetes and high blood pressure issues”.

Jo admitted feeling “helpless” with regards to her sister’s health but went on to campaign for those with learning difficulties.

On February 24, the mum-of-four said she was “crying tears of joy” at the news that people on the GP Learning Disability Register would get the covid jab as a priority.

“Crying with joy at today’s news. For all those with a LD who’ve lost their lives & for those who thought they’d been forgotten.

“We DO care and we WILL protect you.

“Well Done & thank you to @mencap_charity,” she wrote, in view of her 362,700 followers.

Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times – out now.

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