Jo Whiley has said her sister, who has a learning disability and diabetes, has finally been offered a Covid vaccine, but it may have come too late as Frances is “fighting for life” in hospital.
The BBC Radio 2 DJ said it had been “the worst week of our lives” and 24 hours ago medical staff were discussing palliative care for her sister, although on Saturday “she rallied round” and her oxygen levels were beginning to rise.
“At the moment we’ve got hope; 24 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,” Whiley told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show.
Last week she spoke of the “nightmare” of being offered a Covid vaccine before her sister. Frances, who is 53, is in the 6th priority group for vaccination but, due to her diabetes and an underlying health condition, Whiley believed she should be in the 4th group for the clinically extremely vulnerable.
Frances tested positive for Covid-19 after an outbreak at her care home in Northamptonshire.
A Public Health England study found the death rate from coronavirus among people with learning disabilities was up to six times higher than the general population during the first wave of the pandemic, and the death rate for people aged 18 to 34 with learning disabilities was 30 times higher than the rate in the same age group without disabilities.
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