Jo Whiley has pulled out of hosting her BBC Radio 2 show, following news her sister is ‘very poorly’ in hospital with coronavirus.
The radio presenter, 55, revealed just days ago that her sister Frances, who has learning difficulties, genetic syndrome Cri du Chat and diabetes, had tested positive for Covid-19.
Her diagnosis came as Jo campaigned for her vulnerable sister to be given the coronavirus vaccine, and she was actually invited up to have the jab before her sibling.
Sharing an update on her sister, Jo told fans that she is feeling ‘very scared’ as her sister is now very unwell in hospital.
Alongside a picture of her sister, Jo tweeted: ‘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. However I’ll be listening to @willyoung who I know will light up our kitchen in the depths of our darkness.’
In a second tweet, Jo added: ‘Ps. Things we’ve learnt. Get yourself an oximeter- they are vital for exposing dangerously low oxygen levels which you can have even though u feel fine with Covid. Contact your GP immediately if you have a loved one with LD & ask for your vaccine NOW! (sic)’
Fans inundated Jo’s post with messages of support, with Radio 1 host Scott Mills commenting: ‘Sending love to you all Jo xx.’
Comedian Jason Mansford responded: ‘Thinking of you,’ while Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid wrote: ‘Sending so much love and strength to Frances and to all of you.’
Jo previously explained that the care home Frances is residing in recently had an outbreak of coronavirus and how the pandemic has had an ‘extreme’ impact on her mental health.
Jo, who has been vaccinated from Covid-19, previously said she would ‘give up her jab in a heartbeat’ in order for her sister to receive her vaccination instead.
Speaking on her Radio 4 show, earlier this week, Jo shared her frustration as she told listeners: ‘Oh my God, I can’t tell you how frustrating it is and how horrendous it is. ‘It is the stuff of nightmares at the moment. I feel like I am living through a nightmare.
‘All weekend it has been awful – really, really difficult. It has been hard for my parents, it has been hard for everyone in the care home, and it continues. And then, ironically, I got a message to say I was due to have my vaccine before my sister who has got learning difficulties and underlying health conditions. Go figure.’
She later confirmed Frances had tested positive for coronavirus on Twitter.
‘Feel like I’m in a terrible film with bad plot twists. Late last night I got a call to say that Frances, my sister, had tested positive & has Covid-19,’ Jo shared.
‘Our worst fears realised after keeping her safe for a year & with a vaccine so close… she’s OK so far… Everything crossed.’
It was revealed this week that more than 15million people in the UK had received the first dose of their Covid-19 vaccine, with thousands getting their jab each day.
Over 80s were targeted first as well as priority groups, with the BBC stating that people with diabetes and those with ‘severe or profound’ learning difficulties are now starting to receive their invitations.
Jo explained on her radio show that she was unsure why she had been approached to have the vaccine before Frances and insisted it ‘didn’t feel right’.
‘Myself, my parents and the home have done everything we can to try and facilitate the vaccine coming in to the people who need it the most. She is in tier six but she also has quite bad diabetes, which in my understanding puts her in tier four because she has an underlying health condition,’ Jo said.
‘I would have thought that she would have been vaccinated, but that hasn’t happened. I suppose what I am doing is just wanting to speak up for people like Frances, people who live in her care home, who have been overlooked, because this happens so often.’
She continued: ‘People with learning difficulties are neglected. They haven’t got a voice, they haven’t got anybody there. Just badgering everybody saying, “What about me? Help me out here”.
‘I would give up my vaccine in a heartbeat if I could for my sister and any of the residents in her house to have their vaccine. It just does not feel right.’
After vaccinating the top four priority groups ahead of target, the government is now rolling out the vaccine to those in the next five groups (roughly 17million people) with the aim of everyone in those groups being vaccinated by the end of April.
Credit: Original article published here.