Jo Whiley said it could “not be more cruel” that her sister, who has learning difficulties and diabetes, was offered the vaccine after “fighting for her life” with Covid

The 55-year-old broadcaster said it had been “the worst week of our lives” after her sister Frances, 53, became very ill after testing positive after an outbreak at her Northamptonshire nursing home and it was difficult treating them for their complex needs

Whiley previously asked why she was offered the vaccine before her sister, who has the rare genetic Cri du Chat syndrome

She told BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show: “I have no idea why I was offered the vaccine and my sister wasn’t It felt like the cruelest twist in the world because I asked about her and wanted her to be vaccinated for a year to be honest and be protected

“Then when I suddenly got a call to say I had the vaccine, it just felt terribly unfair and she was actually called about her vaccine last night My mother got a message that she could be vaccinated, but it’s too late, she is fighting for her life in the hospital

She added, “It was without a doubt the worst week of our lives

She tells #Marr that it is the “cruelest twist in the world” that she was offered a Covid vaccine in front of her disabled sister, who is hospitalized with coronavirus and “fighting for her life” https: // tco / 0GHNAEnDdq picTwittercom / js2IlDPp5Q

“Twenty-four hours ago we were talking about palliative care and yesterday she gathered and we see her oxygen levels rise, so for now we have hope

“Twenty-four hours ago we had no hope at all, so she’s an amazing fighter, she’s always been a great fighter and I just hope her spirit gets her through”

While telling Marr it was “absolutely horrible” and her parents hadn’t slept for “days”, they were luckily allowed to be in the hospital with Frances

She said, “The idea of ​​Frances having to do this on her own is unthinkable and neither could people cope with Frances

“When she was admitted to the hospital she was so scared that she was actually rampaging around the hospital and people couldn’t hold her back and security had to be involved, they had to hold her back”

“The fact that my mom was there to talk her out and be with her and try to give her oxygen was crucial”

While she said it is especially difficult to treat people with complex needs because they often do not understand what is going on and cannot communicate

She said Frances was so scared that she wouldn’t allow the medical staff to give her oxygen, adding, “That’s why her oxygen levels went down, that’s why she fought for her life, because you couldn’t. Die easiest thing you would do to get someone through Covid and we were at the end of our minds ”

#Marr asks Health Secretary Matt Hancock why Jo Whiley was offered a Covid vaccine in front of her sister, who has a genetic disease and learning disability

She continued, “The medical professionals who have done a great job are simply not equipped because everything is so new that they don’t know how people with learning difficulties will react in this situation, why it makes so much sense to to get her vaccinated as soon as possible

“Take away this problem, take away the burden on the NHS, just prevent these people from going to the hospital who are absolutely petrified and often unable to communicate”

“They are scared, they don’t know what’s going on, they have no understanding of what Covid is and what is happening to them, and they are confused in a hospital there

“Just don’t let them go through, stop everyone going through this whole experience, just keep them and protect these people because they are so valuable, so vulnerable, and we should have taken care of them a long time ago.”

“We should have done more for these people who have no way of helping themselves You are simply completely dependent on us ”

When asked about Whiley’s situation on the show, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, “My heart goes out to Jo and her sister and all of her family”

Edel Harris, managing director of the Mencap charity for learning disabilities, said: “People with learning disabilities are six times more likely to die of Covid-19 than the rest of the population, and people with mild or moderate learning disabilities are not prioritized at all

“We urge the government to urgently include all people with learning disabilities in Group 6 – it is not too late

“It is unacceptable that within a group of people so badly affected by the pandemic, who were on average over 20 years younger than the general population before Covid’s death, there are many who fear and wonder why they are were left out”

“The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) and the government must act now to save the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in society by making vaccine a priority for all those with learning disabilities”

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Jo Whiley

World News – UK – Jo Whiley: Sister at risk offered a push after fighting for her life – Evening Express