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Jo Whiley opens up about 'awful' week amid sister's health issues after contracting coronavirus

The radio DJ appeared on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday

jo whiley© Photo: Getty Images
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
February 21, 2021
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Jo Whiley has opened up about the heartbreaking health issues her sister is suffering as a result of contracting Covid-19 in what she described as the "worst week" of her family's life.

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The BBC Radio Two presenter, 55, made an appearance on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday to discuss to situation involving her younger sister Frances, who suffers with severe learning difficulties as a result of a rare genetic condition named Cri du Chat, and is currently being treated in hospital after contracting the virus in her care home in Northamptonshire.

jo whiley andrew marr© Photo: BBC

Jo Whiley appeared on Andrew Marr to discuss her sister Frances' health

Jo told the presenter: "It's been the worst week of our lives without a shadow of a doubt. […] It's been awful, absolutely awful. My parents, I don't think, have slept for days, but we are really fortunate because they've allowed my mum and dad to be with her."

She continued: "The idea of Frances having to do this on her own is unthinkable. And actually, people couldn't cope with Frances. When she was admitted to hospital, she was so terrified, that she rampaged through the hospital and security guards had to restrain her."

Although Jo was visibly moved while telling her family's story, the radio DJ was keen to share some positivity. "At the moment we've got hope. Twenty four hours ago we didn't have any hope at all. She is an amazing fighter, she always has been a great fighter and I'm just hoping her spirit gets her through."

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jo whiley and sister© Photo: Twitter

The radio DJ is keen to raise awareness for those with learning difficulties

After her appearance on the BBC news programme, Jo took to social media to thank the BBC for the opportunity to discuss Frances' condition, who  in the hope of raising awareness for those who suffer with learning difficulties that may not otherwise be considered during the pandemic.

She tweeted: "Thanks to @AndrewMarr9 @BBCOne for asking me to talk about my sister and her ongoing battle with Covid. I felt I owed it to the LD community to explain the unique challenges they face with this horrific virus and to let them know they are not forgotten or of less value in society."

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