AN ex-CBBC star battling terminal illness fears that she might not live to see the end of the coronavirus crisis – and be reunited with her friends and family.
Chelsie Whibley, 28, suffers from the incurable disease cystic fibrosis – an inherited condition that causes sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive system.
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The former actress, from Denmead, Hants, has been ordered to quarantine indefinitely because she is at such a high risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19.
But with a limited time left, Chelsie, is longing for lockdown to be lifted as she fears she may never again be face-to-face with those she loves.
'Every day is precious'
Chelsie, who needs round the clock oxygen to support her barely- functioning lungs, said: “For me, every day is so precious that spending them under lockdown is like having them stolen.
“It feels like even more time is being taken away from me.
“It’s just heartbreaking beyond words.
“I know that seeing my friends and family is too dangerous and it could be enough to tip my body over the edge.
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“But on the other hand, I don’t know how much time I have and it breaks me knowing I can’t see them.
“I love them all so much and I just want to be with them because I know I don’t have long left.
“I’ve got a month-old nephew who I haven’t met and I do worry I never will.
“I fear that I won’t have time to make memories with my nieces and nephews and that they won’t remember who I am”.
Chelsie, who is married to Glyn, 32, has defied the odds despite doctors telling her she would not survive beyond 16 due to a suppressed immune system.
She starred in CBBC shows Dani’s House and Sadie J, and in panto alongside House of Cards actress Kate Mara, before her budding career was cut short aged 20.
Her heavily-scarred lungs are no longer operable and function at just 25 per cent, while she has to take a cocktail of 60 pills each day.
In a further blow, Chelsie must now undergo intensive intravenous treatment at home after her specialist hospital unit was given over to coronavirus patients.
The state-of-the-art respiratory diseases unit at nearby Southampton hospital – where the air is filtered to avoid viruses being transmitted – is instead being utilised by Covid-19 patients.
Chelsie, whose mum, Pam, has been permitted to move in to help provide care, said: “I should be in hospital now but the ward I’m supposed to be in is being used for coronavirus patients.
“I can understand the reasons why but it doesn’t make it any easier.
“I’m scared about the interruption in my treatment and my care.
"I’m worried that the plan for my future treatment is going to slow down, halt or just be forgotten about because we’re all so concerned about coronavirus.
“My condition doesn't just pause or suddenly go away because of coronavirus. It still continues. I don’t have months and months to wait.”
She added: “In the hospital I’ve got the best care right at hand but at home I don’t have that.
“I’ve got none of the facilities I would usually need. And that is terrifying.”
Chelsie, who has never asked to know what her life-expectancy is, had only just finished a “rough” month-long stay in hospital 12 days before the country was put into lockdown.
She is among 1.4 million ‘at risk’ Brits currently shielding at home from the virus.
Chelsie’s hopes of securing a life-saving wonder drug also appear to have stalled because of the pandemic.
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Dubbed the "ultimate cystic fibrosis cure drug", Trikafta is due to be available on the NHS as soon as next year.
But Chelsie’s doctors were in talks with drug company Vertex to let her have the drug now on compassionate grounds.
She said: “My physicians had been working hard to fight my corner but they’re not expecting to get any answers from them while this is going on.
“It’s soul-destroying. I know I haven’t got long left and I’m desperate for this drug to help extend my life.
“We have been begging them to help.
“I need the extra time to make up for all these days I’ll miss in lockdown.”
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