Kelsey Stratford has shared a sweet update on her younger sister Kennedy, eight, as she continues her Covid-19 battle while hospitalised in intensive care.
The TOWIE star, 19, has been keeping her followers updated with Kennedy’s condition ever since she was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital on Sunday.
Kennedy has a terminal illness known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Kelsey and her family had worked hard to try and protect the youngster from the virus, however due to her weakened immune system she recently caught it.
Update: Kelsey Stratford has shared a sweet update on her younger sister Kennedy, eight, as she continues her Covid-19 battle while hospitalised in intensive care
On Thursday Kelsey shared a picture of her little sister in a hospital bed alongside the words: ‘Love this little girl too much she is really going through it but fighting through it like she always does… Kennedy Mercer we love you!’
A clipboard at the end of Kennedy’s bed revealed that she likes superpops, Disneyland, the colour orange, Little Mix, Halloween and swimming.
Kelsey also shared clips of Kennedy singing along to the nursery rhyme Old MacDonald Has A Farm while lying in bed.
She captioned the video: ‘Kennedy singing away in intensive care fighting against Covid. [crying face emojis].’
Loving sister: The TOWIE star, 19, has been keeping her followers updated with Kennedy’s condition ever since she was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital on Sunday
Kelsey later heartbreakingly shared a picture which said: ‘The worst thing in the world is watching someone you love suffer in pain when there is nothing you can do to stop it’
Kelsey later heartbreakingly shared a picture which said: ‘The worst thing in the world is watching someone you love suffer in pain when there is nothing you can do to stop it.’
She also thanked a kind pal who had sent her a sweet treat which spelt out the words: ‘Thinking of you.’
On Monday Kelsey called coronavirus ‘evil and calculated’ as she shared another update on Kennedy’s condition, saying the youngster has ‘developed clots coming up from her lungs.’
Also in the lengthy Instagram post, Kelsey warned her followers that COVID-19 ‘isn’t anything like the flu’ and that it ‘picks on all parts of the body’.
Doting sister: On Monday Kelsey called coronavirus ‘evil and calculated’ as she shared another update on Kennedy’s condition, saying the youngster has ‘developed clots coming up from her lungs’
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.’
Kelsey also gave a detailed update about her sister’s condition, sharing details about her treatment and revealing that she will be hopefully be starting Remdesivir.
Praising her sister, who already has ‘severe breathing problems’ due to her SMA illness, Kelsey added: ‘She is holding her own and fighting hard with tremendous spirit. I am in orr of my girl. My hero. My life!’
‘My girl, my hero’: Kelsey revealed that Kennedy is ‘fighting hard’ as she receives treatment for coronavirus at Great Ormond Street Hospital (pictured together)
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 revealed that her sisters’ Vitamin D levels have been upped and that she is set to start using an antiviral ‘used in the USA, Remdesivir’ once ‘compassionate compensation is approved’.
Update: Kelsey also said that Kennedy is set to start the antiviral ‘used in the USA, Remdesivir’ once ‘compassionate compensation is approved’ in her lengthy Instagram update
The doting sister 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.’
The update comes after Kelsey confirmed that she’s pulled out of The Only Way Is Essex’s Christmas special.
In a message shared to Instagram on Sunday, the tutor revealed she’s isolating for two weeks and has taken a test after her eight-year-old sibling – who already has ‘severe breathing problems’ due to her SMA illness – contracted the virus.
Kelsey also thanked her followers for their support during the ‘heartbreaking’ time, and insisted Kennedy is ‘such a fighter who will pull through this’.
Pulled out: It comes after Kelsey confirmed she won’t take part in filming TOWIE’s Christmas special as her sister battles Covid in intensive care (pictured earlier this month)
Sharing an update on her relative’s health, Kelsey wrote on her 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.
‘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.’
The media personality ended her post by detailing why she’ll be absent from filming the series, set to take place in the next few days.
Staying safe: The tutor also revealed she’s isolating for two weeks and has taken a test after her eight-year-old sibling (pictured below) contracted the virus in an Instagram post on Sunday
‘She’s in the best place’: The reality star also thanked her followers for their support during the ‘heartbreaking’ time, and insisted Kennedy is ‘such a fighter who will pull through this’
‘Now think Covid isn’t real?’ The TV star went on to repost a Facebook note by one of her relatives, who revealed Kennedy has blood on her lungs and can no longer speak
TV stint: The influencer joined the ITVBe series in March last year (pictured in October)
The influencer first revealed Kennedy’s diagnosis earlier in the day, alongside a picture of her in her hospital bed.
Kelsey penned: ‘So as you can imagine me and my family are all heartbroken because yesterday Kennedy got rushed into hospital and got tested positive for covid19.
What is spinal muscular atrophy?
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a disease that weakens a patient’s strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord.
It results in gradual muscle wasting and the severity of symptoms varies by type
Type 1 SMA is the most severe and is evident at birth. The weakening of muscles means sufferers cannot sit and usually leads to death by the age of five
Type 2 is intermediate with the sufferer being unable to stand
Type 3 is mild and makes it difficult to get up from a sitting position, while
Type 4 sufferers don’t have symptoms until they are in their 20s or 30s
‘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 intesive care (sic).’
She went on to explain in another post: ‘My little sister kennedy got rushed into hospital yesterday and tested positive for COVID19, we are all so heartbroken as kennedy has severe breathing problems from her terminal illness SMA as it is.
‘So this is very dangerous for her. Kennedy was high risk to covid & we tried our best to shield her from this terrible virus but unfortunately because of her low immune system she caught it.
Struggle: The media personality first revealed Kennedy’s diagnosis earlier in the day, alongside a picture of her in her hospital bed
Emotional: Kelsey shared a close up photo of her sister in hospital, and said: ‘Im so sorry my little baby. You can do this’
‘She doesn’t deserve this’: Alongside images of her sister over the years, the brave star claimed ‘life is so cruel’ and asked fans to send their prayers
‘She is in intensive care but really fighting like she always does, so i just need everyone to keep her in your prayers and hopefully she gets through this my strong little girl she doesn’t deserve any of this (sic).’
MailOnline has contacted Kelsey’s representatives for comment.
SMA is Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is described by the NHS as a condition that makes the muscles grow weaker and causes problems with movement.
Kelsey also went on to share pictures of Kelsey over the years, which showed her using a ventilator to help her breathe during various outings.
Fears: Kelsey explained that because of her SMA Kelsey has a ‘weak immune system’ and it is ‘very dangerous’ for her to have COVID-19
Condition: SMA is Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is described by the NHS as a condition that makes the muscles grow weaker and causes problems with movement
Reflecting: Kelsey went on to share pictures of Kelsey over the years, which showed her using a ventilator to help her breathe during various outings
Kelsey has already set up a GoFundMe page for her sister, as she asked fans to donate what they could to help Kelsey as she battles the disease.
Speaking to MailOnline, Kelsey said: ‘I’m raising money via my GoFundMe page for SMA UK and we have arranged a Christmas Jumper Day on 11th December where you can take part and donate while having some festive.’
Detailing the condition in the campaign, Kelsey said of her sister’s SMA: ‘This affects her movement from the neck down, but not her intelligence or sense of humour.
‘We also sadly lost my brother Karter to this condition when he was just a baby.
‘It would mean so much if you could donate anything you can, every little helps and will help the charity to continue their vital work supporting individuals and families such as mine affected by SMA !’
Spending time together: While her sister was in hospital, Kelsey shared a video alongside her as she asked fans to subscribe to Kennedy’s YouTube channel
Candid: Detailing the condition, Kelsey said of her sister’s SMA: ‘This affects her movement from the neck down, but not her intelligence or sense of humour’