TOWIE’s Kelsey Stratford reveals her sister Kennedy, 8, has sepsis she continues Covid fight

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Kelsey Stratford has revealed that her little sister Kennedy has now developed sepsis as she continues her fight against coronavirus in intensive care. 

The TOWIE star, 19, shared another emotional update on her beloved sibling’s health to Instagram on Friday, revealing the youngster’s temperature is ‘dangerously high’. 

Kennedy has terminal condition Spinal Muscular Atrophy which weakens her immune system. She was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital on Sunday.

Heartbreaking: Kelsey Stratford has revealed that her sister Kennedy, eight, has now got sepsis as well as coronavirus as she continues to receive medical treatment in intensive care

Taking to Instagram after learning the upsetting development, Kelsey shared an encouraging quote, ‘Life is tough, but I am tougher’ in honour of her sister. 

She penned: ‘This is you my little @kennedymercer7 you are the strongest person i have ever known and you have taught me so much in life my beautiful girl. 

‘You have taught me never to be ungrateful, you have taught me to always be thankful and to always be happy no matter what is going on in life. I admire your strength and braveness, every single day is a fight for you & you win every time. 

‘I will never love any one like i love you, everyone who meets you says the same. Please come home to me soon. You can beat sepsis and covid your stronger than it all, love you Kenny.’  

'My heart breaks for her': The TOWIE star, 19, shared with her followers that the youngster's temperature is '39.5c which is dangerously high and hard to get down' in an update on Friday

‘My heart breaks for her’: The TOWIE star, 19, shared with her followers that the youngster’s temperature is ‘39.5c which is dangerously high and hard to get down’ in an update on Friday

Kelsey also posted the sepsis news on her Instagram Stories, sharing an update written in notes alongside a picture of Kennedy.

It read: ‘Update is that Covid has now lead to sepsis which is a life threatening blood infection. I’m digesting as just been told as she sleeps.

‘I have no more words to say. Her temp is 39.5c which is dangerously high and hard to get down. Not sure whether to have major anxiety about the Covid of Sepsis first.’

Kelsey then wrote her own message over the top, which read: ‘Can’t believe it. My poor little girl. My heart just breaks for her, she doesn’t deserve any of this.’   

Staying strong: Kelsey shared an encouraging quote to her Instagram, saying that it was dedicated to her sibling

Staying strong: Kelsey shared an encouraging quote to her Instagram, saying that it was dedicated to her sibling

She wrote: ''I will never love any one like i love you... Please come home to me soon. You can beat sepsis and covid your stronger than it all, love you Kenny'

She wrote: ”I will never love any one like i love you… Please come home to me soon. You can beat sepsis and covid your stronger than it all, love you Kenny’

It comes after Kelsey shared a picture of her little sister in a hospital bed on Thursday 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].’ 

Update: Kelsey added that her 'heart breaks' for Kennedy in another update shared to Stories

Update: Kelsey added that her ‘heart breaks’ for Kennedy in another update shared to Stories

Loving sister: The reality star has been keeping her followers updated with Kennedy's condition ever since she was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital on Sunday

Loving sister: The reality star 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.’

She also thanked a kind pal who had sent her a sweet treat which spelt out the words: ‘Thinking of you.’ 

While 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, saying the youngster has 'developed clots coming up from her lungs'

Doting sister: On Monday Kelsey called coronavirus ‘evil and calculated’ as she shared another update, saying the youngster has ‘developed clots coming up from her lungs’

WHAT IS SEPSIS?

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused when the body releases chemicals to fight an infection.

These chemicals damage the body’s own tissues and organs and can lead to shock, organ failure and death. 

Organ failure and death are more likely if sepsis is not recognized early and treated immediately.

Sepsis infects an estimated 55,000 Australians each year, killing between 5,000 and 9,000 making it more than four times deadlier than the road toll.

The symptoms can look like gastro or flu and can become deadly, rapidly.

The six major signs of something potentially deadly can be identified by the acronym ‘SEPSIS’:

  • Slurred speech or confusion, lethargy, disorientation
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain, fever or low temperature
  • Pressing a rash doesn’t make it fade
  • Severe breathlessness, rapid breathing
  • Inability to pass urine for several hours 
  • Skin that’s mottled or discoloured  

Children may also show convulsions or fits, and a rash that doesn’t fade when you press it – and more than 40 per cent of cases occur in children under five. 

Anyone who develops these symptoms should seek medical help urgently — and ask doctors: ‘Could this be sepsis?’ 

Sepsis is a leading cause of avoidable death killing about 10,000 Australians each year

Sepsis is a leading cause of avoidable death killing about 10,000 Australians each year

The early symptoms of sepsis can be easily confused with more mild conditions, making it difficult to diagnose. 

A high temperature (fever), chills and shivering, a fast heartbeat and rapid breathing are also indicators. 

A patient can rapidly deteriorate if sepsis is missed early on, so quick diagnosis and treatment is vital – yet this rarely happens. 

In the early stages, sepsis can be mistaken for a chest infection, flu or upset stomach. 

It is most common and dangerous in older adults, pregnant women, children younger than one, people with chronic conditions or those who have weakened immune systems.  

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!’   

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.’

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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’.

News: 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

News: 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)

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

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'

‘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

‘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)

TV stint: The influencer joined the ITVBe series in March last year (pictured in October)

‘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 added. 

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

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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

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'

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 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).’

TBEN 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

Siblings: The TV star shared pictures of Kennedy using a ventilator to breathe while in bed with her sister

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

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

At home: One picture saw Kennedy playing with her sister

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 TBEN, 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

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'

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’

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