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Jo Whiley says sister Frances is home and ‘doing great’ after Covid battle

Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor
·3-min read

Jo Whiley has said her sister Frances is at home and “doing great” after contracting Covid-19.

The broadcaster revealed last week that her sibling, who has learning disabilities and diabetes, had been admitted to hospital after an outbreak in her Northamptonshire care home.

Whiley, 55, has previously questioned why she was offered the vaccine before her 53-year-old sister, who has the rare Cri du Chat genetic syndrome.

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She told BBC News: “She got home yesterday and she phoned me this morning.

“I always know how Frances is because she FaceTimes me and she FaceTimes me about a million times a day, and while she was ill those calls stopped.

“So I got a really early-morning call this morning so that means she is doing well.

“Apparently she got up at 4.30am to have some breakfast, her first breakfast, so she has got her appetite back, she’s FaceTiming, so all is so much better in the world.

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“My parents are now looking after her. This is the first step in her recovery, it’s going to be hard work from here on in, but she’s doing great.

“We thought we were going to lose her. Four, five days ago we thought she had gone, we thought it was all over, so I just could not believe seeing her yesterday, giving her thumbs-up, just looking her and going ‘Wow, she’s back’.”

On Sunday, Whiley told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show she had had the “worst week” of her life following Frances’s diagnosis and the family had been discussing palliative care.

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She said it felt particularly cruel that Frances had been offered the Covid vaccine after she was already fighting for her life.

The DJ told the BBC: “The case with her house, she lived in a house, there are six of them there, all of them tested positive.

“Two weeks ago they were all fine, a week ago they weren’t, and three of them ended up in hospital and one of them sadly died.”

Whiley said she could not be more delighted at the news that all adults on the Learning Disability Register will be invited to get a coronavirus vaccine.

“This is a great day –  I am so relieved, I’m so happy for all those people who’ve been living in fear,” she said.

Whiley later said on Instagram that her sister “nearly died” because of coronavirus, adding: “We’ve been lucky and my heart breaks for those who’ve lost their precious sons, daughters, siblings and friends but I hope from this day forward there will be many more saved due to this new ruling.”