Gemma Collins has revealed her dad Alan is still ‘fighting for his life’ in hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 before Christmas.
The former TOWIE star, 39, admitted she’d had an ‘awful’ Christmas and New Year as both her dad, 72, and mum Joan battled the virus, and branded herself a ‘superhero’ for juggling her work with her family’s health battles.
Gemma revealed last month that both of her parents had been rushed to hospital after testing positive for COVID-19, and pleaded with her followers to stay safe and follow the government guidelines.
Harrowing: Gemma Collins has revealed her dad Alan is still ‘fighting for his life’ in hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 before Christmas
Speaking on her BBC podcast on Wednesday, Gemma said: ‘Oh my gosh, it has been just the most awful Christmas and New Year for me – both of my parents have had COVID.
‘My dad is still in hospital now – he’s literally been fighting for his life, so it has been one awful time of it.’
She said that juggling life was ‘so difficult’ at the moment, saying the pressure was ‘relentless’, telling listeners: ‘Things are so difficult, and it’s kind of relentless at the minute with everything going on.
‘I’m finding myself juggling so many plates at the minute, and it’s been a real shock to myself and my family with my dad being in hospital because he’s the one that looks after us all – and has always been the strong one in the family.
Scary: The former TOWIE star admitted she’d had an ‘awful’ Christmas and New Year as both her dad, 72, and mum Joan battled the virus
‘So, it’s all on me – and basically I don’t mind because things don’t always go to plan in life.
‘It’s not been a great Christmas and New Year – I’m going totally forget about last year.’
Gemma added that she became hooked on watching ‘superhero’ Wim Hof – a Dutch extreme athlete nicknamed The Iceman – who uses breathing techniques and meditation to survive freezing temperatures.
He holds Guinness World Records for swimming under ice and running a barefoot half marathon in ice and snow.
Hard: Gemma said she’s started to feel like a ‘superhero’ keeping her family together while her parents battle COVID-19
She said she felt like a ‘superhero’ after her parents got COVID, adding: ‘Wim Hof us up there as my Number One superhero – he has this amazing ability where he can be absolutely fine in freezing temperatures.
‘This guy is absolutely incredible. He even has a Guinness World Record for swimming under ice and holds the record for a barefoot half marathon on the ice and snow – he’s literally got superpowers.’
She added: ‘Wim Hof – send me you superpowers please – times a million – I really need them at the minute.
‘The reason I wanted to talk about superheroes is that I’ve literally had to become a superhero since having two parents with Covid, running a business, running a TV career, we’ve got a dog.
‘There is so much that you don’t realise that you have to get done every day.’
Health battle: Gemma revealed last month that her parents are ‘extremely unwell’ after they both tested positive for COVID-19
Gemma revealed last month that her parents are ‘extremely unwell’ after they both tested positive for COVID-19.
Addressing her Instagram followers, the TV personality admitted she was heartbroken after witnessing them struggle with the impact of the respiratory illness.
She also urged followers to stay safe and heed all necessary guidelines, as England is plunged into COVID-19 lockdown.
Sharing an image of her mother and father, she wrote: ‘Please please please take notice of the guidelines ! Both my parents are extremely unwell with Covid 19 !
Worry: Addressing her Instagram followers, the TV personality admitted she was heartbroken after witnessing them struggle with the impact of the respiratory illness
‘Seeing my dad cry which he never does ! Was a shock and say he would rather be dead then experience everything he is going through right now… this has totally wiped him out and it’s heartbreaking… my mum also is extremely extremely unwell with Covid also, this is real !
‘And please please take notice and keep your loved ones SAFE… it really is petrifying. what a difference a year makes ….’
Last Saturday on Boxing Day, she thanked the NHS staff on her Instagram stories for looking after her father Alan at Queen’s Hospital in Romford.
Sharing a picture of her father’s doctor, the TOWIE star gushed that Dr Angus Ehien and his team have been ‘incredible.’
Gemma is not the only TOWIE star facing the pain of loved ones battling COVID-19, as Mark Wright recently revealed his father had been rushed to hospital with the deadly virus, but has since returned home.
Thank you! The former TOWIE star thanked the NHS staff on her Instagram stories on Boxing Day for looking after her father Alan at Queen’s Hospital in Romford
Mark also revealed that two of his uncles are currently in hospital due to the virus with his uncle Eddie, 65, the father of his reality star cousin Elliott, in a coma and intensive care unit (ICU).
Speaking on his Heart Evening Show, the presenter made an impassioned plea for people to observe government guidelines to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Mark also revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19 last year but it didn’t affect him like it has his family.
The emotional reality star said: ‘I want my life back. I want my family to be well again. I don’t want my family to have to worry anymore.
‘I don’t want you to worry anymore. If you want to get your life back, the only way this will happen is if we obey by the government rules.’
Upsetting: Gemma is not the only TOWIE star facing the pain of loved ones battling COVID-19, as Mark Wright recently revealed his father had hospitalised with the deadly virus
Scary: Speaking on his Heart radio show, the presenter made an impassioned plea for people to observe government guidelines to stop the spread of coronavirus (pictured with his father)
Mark noted that people obeyed the government guidelines and rules ‘so much better’ during the first lockdown compared to the third lockdown, which was imposed in England last Monday.
He said: ‘Now last time when this happened, last year’s lockdown, I saw such a difference. Everybody was sticking to the rules so much better than it feels this time and it’s coming back to bite us, harder, faster and tougher.
‘Do you want to see your family members go through what I’m seeing right now? I understand if it hasn’t affected your family like it has affected mine, bloodlines are different, I don’t know the science of it.
‘But what I do know is that my father, my dad was suffering in hospital and we worried for his life for two weeks, he’s now home, he’s not completely better, he knows that and we know it.
‘My other uncle, his brother, is in hospital right now, receiving oxygen, and their other brother, my uncle Eddie who I love dearly is currently in a coma in the ICU.’
Mark admitted that he wasn’t trying to get ‘too dark’ but by sharing personal information about how it has impacted his family, it will highlight how important the guidelines are.
He continued: ‘Now I’m trying not to be too dark but I’m trying to give you a personal from me, because I am seeing first hand, and I know if you haven’t seen it and you haven’t felt it the way I have, I understand it’s hard to believe it.
‘It’s easy to sit and think, “You know what, it’s just for people that have got real underlying health issues, they were going to die of something anyway.” That’s not the case.
‘A) that shouldn’t be a good excuse anyway because they don’t deserve to take this badly just because they’ve got an underlying health condition. And b) it’s not just that. My dad is a healthy man, so are my uncles.’
Heartbreaking: Mark also revealed that two of his uncles are currently in hospital due to the virus with his uncle Eddie, 65, the father of his reality star cousin Elliott, in a coma and intensive care unit (ICU) (Elliott and Eddie pictured in February 2020)
He added: ‘So look, I want to move on from this subject, but I just wanted to clear it up because it’s made a bit of the headlines from what I said on Good Morning Britain.
‘My dad is doing okay, and I want him to know I love him very much. But look, please going forward, we stick together, we do this together and we do what we can to get us back to normal.
‘Get us back to holidays, get us back to seeing our friends and dancing on the dance floor.’
Mark also admitted that he understands it’s a ‘tough situation’ and that he is aware that the virus affects everyone differently.
He continued: ‘It is a tough situation, I understand, because there’s so many conspiracy theories that you hear from people.
Family: Mark pictured with his uncle Eddie, who he ‘loves dearly’, during a sponsored walk in 2016