BBC Radio 2 DJ Jo Whiley has publicly spoken of her sister’s illness, after she was admitted to hospital with covid-19.

Jo Whiley, 55, tweeted on 18 February 2021 about her younger sister Frances, who is 53. She tweeted that “Frances is v poorly in hospital with Covid.”

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today Programme earlier this week, Whiley revealed that Frances has “learning difficulties and underlying health conditions.”

Jo Whiley speaks of sister’s illness

It is known that Frances Whiley has diabetes and learning difficulties. It is reported that Frances has Cri du Chat syndrome. She lives in a care home, which is where she caught covid-19.

Jo Whiley has been campaigning for the government to prioritise vaccinations for those with learning difficulties. She has spoken on Twitter about the challenges covid-19 poses to those with severe or moderate learning difficulties, like her sister.

Frances Whiley is being treated at a hospital in Northampton for covid-19.

What is Cri du Chat?

Cri du Chat is a rare genetic disorder that is also known 5p- (5p minus) syndrome. This is as it is a chromosomal condition, where a piece of chromosome 5 is missing.

The name comes from the French for “cat’s cry.” This results from the sounds of children with Cri du Chat, whose cries resemble a cat’s mewing.

Cri du Chat is estimated to occur in around 1 in 15,000 to 50,000 newborn babies.

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