Jo Whiley this evening revealed her disabled sister – who had been very poorly in hospital with coronavirus – had been discharged as her sibling declared ‘thank you everybody’.
The BBC Radio 2 DJ, 55, posted a short video from sister Frances enjoying a cup of tea on a favourite bench in the countryside.
Frances, 53, suffers from a rare genetic syndrome called Cri du Chat – a chromosomal condition that results in delayed development.
Above the Twitter video, Jo messaged: ‘First of all, Frances would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who has helped her, especially the amazing doctors and nurses of the NHS, and her many MANY well-wishers.
‘It’s hard to believe we’ve gone from discussing palliative care on Friday night to sitting on her favorite bench drinking cups of tea. It doesn’t end here though. Any LD carer will know have someone with demanding needs relying on you to keep them alive 24/7.
‘I hope the vaccine is reaching more and more of those with Learning Disabilities. Not everyone has been as lucky as us. So many have died or are suffering from long Covid because they were simply not protected. We need to show them that they are not forgotten and we care.
‘Covid has brought with it further complications. We’re now dealing with worrying diabetes and high blood pressure issues and my parents are exhausted beyond belief. It’s so hard observing from behind a visor and mask, helpless doesn’t cover it.’
Jo Whiley, 55, did not host her show after her sister Frances’ illness and admittance to hospital
Frances, 53, has a rare genetic syndrome called Cri du Chat – a delayed development condition
Jo Whiley revealed that her sister Frances had been discharged from hospital after Covid-19
The radio presenter previously blasted the Government’s vaccination program after she was offered a coronavirus jab before her sister who lives in a care home.
‘Fit and healthy’ Whiley said it was ‘mind boggling’ she was offered a jab before her younger sister Frances – who has diabetes and complex learning difficulties.
She said she would give up her vaccine ‘in a heartbeat’ in favour of it going to those in a situation such as her younger sister.
Frances was moved into residential care in Northamptonshire in 2015 after her ‘challenging behaviour’ resulted in her needing specialist care.
But the former Radio One DJ said her ‘blood ran cold’ when she and her family were informed of a Covid outbreak at the care home.
Jo, pictured with her sister Frances, told followers that her sister had been left ‘distressed and confused’ by a Covid outbreak at the care home where she lives
What is Cri du Chat syndrome?
Cri du Chat syndrome, also known as ‘5p minus’ syndrome, is a chromosomal condition that results when a piece of chromosome 5 is missing.
The name comes from the French term ‘cat cry’ or ‘call of the cat’.
This is because of one of its key identifying symptoms is a cat-like cry that those with the condition make as children.
Other symptoms include severe cognitive, speech and motor disabilities and behavioural problems such as hyperactivity, aggression, outbursts and repetitive movements.
There are also physical symptoms, with those who have the syndrome often having smaller heads and widely-spaced eyes (hypertelorism).
Diagnosis is primarily based on the distinctive ‘cat cry’ and accompanying physical problems
The syndrome, first discovered in 1963, affects around 1 in 50,000 live births and is slightly more common in women than men.
The condition is not treatable, though children can undergo speech and physical therapy to help with some of the symptoms.
She called for the Government to prioritise those with learning difficulties for the vaccine.
Ms Whiley also believes Frances, who is due to be vaccinated in priority group six as part of the ‘all adults at risk’ group, should have been vaccinated in group four due to her diabetes.
Speaking to Radio 4’s Today Programme, Ms Whiley said: ‘We’ve done everything we can to try and facilitate the vaccine getting to people who need it most.
‘She (Frances) is in group six but she also has diabetes quite bad diabetes, which should put her in group four.
‘I would have thought she should have received it, but she hasn’t. I just want to speak up for people like Frances, who have been overlooked, because this happens so often with people with learning difficulties, who haven’t got a voice.
‘I can’t tell you how frustrating it is and how horrendous it is. It’s the stuff of nightmares.
‘Then ironically I got a message to say I was due to have my vaccine, before my sister, who has learning disabilities and underlying health conditions, go figure.’
Ms Whiley, who thinks she has been offered the vaccine due to her status as a carer for her sister, added: ‘My mind is boggling, it really is, and I would give up my vaccine in a heartbeat for my sister and any of the residents in that care home.’
The radio presenter has been vocal on her social media platforms about trying to get her younger sister Frances, who has diabetes and learning difficulties, the vaccine.
The broadcaster said it had been a ‘long, anxious weekend’ after there was an outbreak of Covid at Frances’ care home in Northamptonshire.