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Exclusive: Ola and James Jordan detail daughter Ella's illness: 'It's been horrendous'

The professional dancers tell all in their HELLO! column

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Sophie Hamilton
Sophie HamiltonParenting Editor
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James and Ola Jordan have been through a tough time this past month, as their 23-month-old daughter Ella has been unwell and in and out of hospital with a chest infection and virus.

MORE: Ola and James Jordan reveal heartache as daughter Ella rushed to hospital

The former Strictly dancers experienced the traumatic ordeal of finding their baby girl limp and unresponsive in her bed one morning, resulting in an ambulance rushing Ella to hospital. After much rest and a course of antibiotics, she is now feeling much better and nearly back to her normal cheerful self.

WATCH: Cute Ella goes shopping for her birthday dress!

Below, the couple update HELLO! on Ella's health and how they've got through this upsetting time together. They now have much to look forward to with Ella's second birthday on Sunday and a family holiday to Abu Dhabi planned.

Read the Jordans' column here…

Ella recovers from her illness

In their last HELLO! column, James and Ola told us of Ella's terrifying hospital dash and worrying time as doctors tried to discover what was wrong with their little girl. Back home recuperating from bouts of vomiting, exhaustion and a bad cough, Ella was on the road to recovery but her parents were still concerned for her health.

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Ella is feeling better after her scary illness

James tells us: After we spoke to you last week, we rang Pembury hospital again and they said to bring her back in because something didn't seem right. Then, within an hour, she suddenly started chirping up. So Ola said, let's just leave it a bit and see how she gets on.

Since then, Ella has been doing better. She started to put on a bit of weight because she was super skinny when ill. She's still got this lingering cough, but the doctor said it might linger for a while because it was such a bad cough, plus with the chest infection and viral infection. She said it will all linger for a bit.

Ola: Slowly but surely, Ella is getting better. The last couple of days her cough hasn't been as bad, touch wood.

James: She hasn't vomited for a week, but she still gets tired. I took Ella into Dinotropolis at Bluewater which she loved, but when we got out she was exhausted. Normally she'd be fine.

She's been playing more at home though and asking us to play with her again. She'll go and get her golf clubs or the football.

Ola: And I've noticed with her food, she's eating a lot more. She's hungry. Today she finished her whole bowl of porridge. Before she didn't want to touch anything.

MORE: Baby names that are going out of fashion – even the royal ones

READ: Everything Kate Middleton has said about fourth baby after 'broody' confession in Copenhagen

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James with his little girl

How Ola and James have coped with Ella's illness

Ola: It was horrendous.

James: When you see your child that ill you feel helpless, don't you. You wish you could just take it away but you can't. I'm a control freak anyway so I find it really difficult that there's nothing I can do. It really stresses me out and makes me tired and annoyed.

We've got friends whose little girl is only a few weeks old and she's had a massive operation on her heart. To think what they're going through. It's horrible.

It's tough. Everyone says to me 'It never stops' with kids and it won't ever stop because they are always going to be your baby, no matter how old they are, and you don't want to see them suffering. Ella must have been sick about 30-40 times. It was horrible to watch.

Ola: It's been horrendous. I want to cry.

James: She cries a lot. The good thing is, Ella has come out the other side of it. You feel drained as well. Even at night when they're that ill, you don't want to fall asleep. You're constantly watching them making sure they're ok. We weren't sleeping at all. But hey, that's being a parent.

Ola: It's so lovely she's more back to her normal self, running around, pulling faces. It's so nice to get her personality back.

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Ola and James have been through a tough time with Ella 

Support from social media followers

Ola: Being on social media is great because so many people come back to you with ideas on what her illness could be. They say they've been through the same thing with their son or daughter. It's nice to hear their experiences. We got loads of messages, didn't we James…

James: Yeah. Some people might be a little bit precious or proud about someone telling them what to do with their little one, but I quite like it. The way I look at it is, if people have already been through it, it's helpful.

Ola: With one question James put on Twitter about Ella, someone messaged and said: 'Why put it on social media, why not go to your GP? That's not the sort of thing you should be putting on Twitter.'

James: I said, 'No, these people are qualified, they have children.' Lots of these people getting in touch have been through the same thing. That frustrated me a bit because I love the fact that our followers interact with us and share advice. People give advice through goodness, not that they know better than you. Social media is a brilliant platform for that.

Like our friends with the really ill baby, their request for help was on social media and we featured it too. I don't know whose social media they saw it on, but someone that retweeted their tweet found them a doctor who would operate on their baby. They were told their baby would have to go on palliative care. Because of social media, they found someone to operate and thank god.

Ella's worrying allergy

James: We've spoken to the doctor about the allergic reaction Ella had recently where her lips swelled up. I said we've got a holiday in March and we don't really want to go away not knowing what she's allergic to. I said pecan nuts and walnuts were in the food we gave her, so she's advised us not to give her those nuts – to assume she has a nut allergy for the moment.

When we get back we need to slowly introduce tiny bits of nut to her to see if she is or not allergic. She said it's better to avoid those nuts than put her through the trauma of taking her blood, which I kind of get but I want to know what she's allergic to.

Our holiday in March is to Abu Dhabi for 10 days. We've got the anniversary of my dad's death so we're going and taking my mum with us as well. We're looking forward to that.

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The family have a fun holiday coming up

Sleeping with mum and dad

James: Ella sleeps amazingly at the moment. We had to wake her up this morning – because she was in bed next to us! I went to my friend's house last night for a game of poker. I came home at 12.30am and she was already in our bed.

Ola: I tried to put her back to bed and she was saying, 'In there! In there!' pointing at our room!

James: Then she falls asleep immediately.

Ola: What's even funnier, is the other day I brought her to our bed about 1am and me and James had a little chat between us, and she told me to shush!! I couldn't believe it. We couldn't have a chat together because she was telling us to shush in OUR room.

James: She also thinks it's funny now to call us 'Mum and Dad' instead of 'Mummy and Daddy'. I don't know where she's got that from.

Ola: She's like: 'Mum! Mum!' like a teenager.

Ella's birthday coming up!

Ola: Ella's second birthday is on Sunday! She's going to be two.

James: We're going to take her to Peppa Pig World for her birthday the following week. She's going to love it. She'll be so excited. That's her birthday trip away.

Ola: On Sunday we're having family over and do a cake.

James: We had a problem with the cake. My friend's wife makes amazing cakes and she was going to make it but then he got COVID. They worried about making Ella a cake with COVID in their house considering she's just been ill.

Ola: So we've ordered her a Peppa Pig cake online.

James: It won't be as nice but Ella won't know any difference. She's two years old.

With presents, my mum's got her a trampoline which I put up yesterday. It's massive! It's more for outdoors but we've got it indoors – it's about four and half feet wide. My sister is getting her a little bike which you can push, and eventually she can peddle herself.

We're getting her lots of puzzles and a doll, little bits and pieces. We're not going OTT because she has so many things anyway. It's just more stuff.

Read the Jordans' column next week to hear all about Ella's birthday!

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