Towie's Kelsey Stratford says her 'hero' sister, eight, is 'fighting hard' against 'evil' Covid as she updates fans
TOWIE'S Kelsey Stratford said what we're all thinking when she labelled the coronavirus 'evil and calculated'.
Kelsey, 19, updated her fans on how her eight-year-old sister, Kennedy was doing after being diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Kennedy who already has trouble breathing due to life-limiting disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy is her big sister's "hero".
As Kelsey updated fans on Kennedy's condition, she also spoke out about the serious impacts of Covid on the body.
The Towie star warned Covid "isn't anything like the flu" and it "picks on all parts of the body".
Posting on Instagram, Kelsey wrote: "I have now seen Covid first hand. It comes in waves. It picks on all parts of the body and at different times to surprise you. It makes you think you are better then hits you again."
"It isn't anything like the flu. It's evil and calculated and a murderer for children like Kennedy. It's quite unbelievable."
While her sister bravely fought Covid in intensive care Kelsey said, "she is holding her own and fighting hard with tremendous spirit. I am in orr [sic] of my girl. My hero. My life!"
She added: "Kennedy is sleeping at the moment. She can't wake up today. Kennedy has developed clots coming up from her lungs so have started a blood thinner to support as COVID causes blood clots.
"She had her first blood transfusion of plasma last night and will have her final blood transfusion tonight. This gives her antibodies from patients who have recovered from COVID"
Kelsey also said her sister's Vitamin D levels have been increased and she will be put on Remdesivir once "compassionate compensation is approved".
The reality star added: "she has had her steroid treatment and need this for at least 10 days of dexa. She has extreme tiredness today. Cannot keep her awake. She isn't digesting her food at the best at the moment."
Kelsey also thanked her fans at this "heartbreaking: time, and praised her sister as "such a fighter who will pull through this".
She wrote on her Instagram stories: "Thank you so much to all you kind people that have messaged me about my sister, it means so much.
"It is so clear to see she is so loved by many and I will keep you all updated on how she's doing."
Kelsey added: "She's in the best place possible ATM she's in intensive care in Great Ormond Street Hospital with amazing doctors, nurses and my parents looking after her and they don't leave her side… she is such a fighter and I know she can pull through this I just know it."
She added she was keeping people updated so they would know why she was not currently filming Towie.
Kelsey has also pulled out of filming the Towie Christmas special.
"Also, I do have to self isolate for 2 weeks now and have done a Covid test today for people asking and that does mean I will not be filming for the @TOWIE Christmas Ep," she wrote on Instagram.
The 19-year-old Towie star announced the devastating news on her Instagram page yesterday adding that her entire family has been left "heartbroken".
Sharing a photo of Kennedy laying in her hospital bed with breathing tubes, Kelsey wrote: "As you can imagine me and my family are all heartbroken because yesterday Kennedy got rushed into hospital and got tested positive for Covid-19.
"She is really fighting but she has severe breathing problems as it is so I can only imagine how hard it is for her now.
"She is in intensive care."
What is spinal muscular atrophy?
SPINAL muscular atrophy, also known as SMA, is a genetic condition with several types that affects different ages.
In a majority of cases, a child can only be born with SMA if both parents have a faulty gene that causes it – with around 1 in every 40 to 60 people a carrier.
Even if both parents have the gene, there is a 50% chance the child won't have SMA but be a carrier, and a 25% chance that they will have the disease.
It is a serious condition that worsens over time, but treatment can help to manage symptoms.
The most severe type of SMA is type 1, which develops in babies less than six months old.
Type 2 impacts babies aged 7-18 months and is less severe, with the third type the least severe in children and affecting those 18 months or older.
Type 4 affects adults, but only usually causes mild problems.
Symptoms depend on what type you have, but include:
- Floppy or weak arms and legs
- Difficulty with movement, such as sitting up, crawling, or walking
- Twitching or shaking muscles
- Bone and joint problems, which can include scoliosis
- Difficulty breathing
- Issues with swallowing
SMA does not impact intelligence or cause learning disabilities, but it can be life-limiting for children.
Babies diagnosed with type 1 rarely survive past the first few years of their life.
Type 2 usually survive into adulthood and can live fulfilling lives, with types 3 and 4 having no impact on life expectancy.
SMA can't be cured but treatment can manage symptoms, including exercises, specialist equipment, feeding tubes, and surgery for joint or bone problems.
In September, Kelsey broke down in tears as she opened up about her sister's illness on The Only Way Is Essex – also revealing that Kennedy's twin brother Karter died from the disease when he was just four months old.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a genetic condition that makes the muscles weak and causes problems with movement – worsening over time.
Doctors initially warned Kennedy's family that she was unlikely to live past 18 months, with the strong little girl proving the professionals wrong.
Kelsey said of her sister at the time: "She's got a disease called SMA, it paralyses her from the neck down but her brain is completely normal.
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