Jo Whiley reveals disabled sister Francis is finally getting coronavirus vaccine after Covid left her fighting for life

JO Whiley has revealed her disabled sister Francis is finally getting the coronavirus vaccine, a month are battling the virus.

The Radio 2 presenter has said she "could not be happier" for her little sister, who was left "fighting for her life" after contracting Covid in February.

Francis, 53, who has a rare genetic syndrome called Cri du Chat, was left seriously ill following a coronavirus outbreak at her care home.

Jo, 55, revealed how her family even discussed "end of life care" for Francis, who also has diabetes, due to the severity of the infection.

Now, a month after the ordeal, Jo told listeners of her radio show that her sister is receiving her vaccination "this weekend".

"My sister gets her vaccination this weekend," she explained. "It's been a long time coming – you have to wait a month after you have had Covid."

Jo previously aired her frustrations as she was offered the vaccine while her sister was still battling the virus in hospital.

She said at the time: "I would give up my vaccine in a heartbeat if I could for my sister and any of the residents in her house to have their vaccine.

"It does not feel right. She's fighting for her life in hospital. It couldn't be crueller."

Jo went on to tell This Morning that Frances, whose genetic conditioncauses developmental delays, "refused to talk to her" and stopped answering her calls when the family was offered the vaccine first.

The BBC Radio DJ said her sibling's reaction was "the cruellest twist" and felt like "the worst disastrous movie".

She told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield: "It played out like the worst disastrous movie. I got offered my vaccine, which felt like the cruellest twist.

"She refused to take our calls. She refused to talk to me, to my mum and dad. That showed the impact on her mental health."

Jo said it was "mind boggling" she was offered the jab ahead of Frances when she was perfectly "fit and healthy".

Adults with learning disabilities now come under the top six priority groups for Covid vaccines thanks to Jo's campaign last month.

The JCVI, which decides who receives the vaccines first, agreed that those with learning disabilities of any kind should be vaccinated sooner.

They are now part of priority group six, which also includes those with long-term health conditions that puts them at high risk of severe illness.

Jo began her campaign when her sister, who lives in residential care, was taken into hospital with Covid-19.

"We got the news that she had tested positive for Covid – all the people in the care home and many of the carers, it was catastrophic," she said.

"It got very serious, this time last week, the next 24 hours we thought we were gonna lose her because we couldn't get the oxygen in her, and then we ended up 4am on Saturday morning discussing end of life care."

Jo praised the NHS staff who helped Frances recover: "'The staff have been incredible, and that proves how challenging it is for people with learning disabilities as they're all so different."

She explained that nurses believed Frances' loud voice helped her boost her oxygen levels as she spoke, and that everyone felt "extremely" lucky as she made a full recovery.

Sadly, one person in Frances' residential care home in Northamptonshire, where she moved in 2015 for "challenging behaviour", died from the virus.

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