Kelle Bryan has spoken emotionally about her struggle with lupus as Loose Women marked World Lupus Day.
The former Eternal star discussed her health woes with her co-stars, tearing up as she remembered the toughest moments – which included not being able to touch her own children in case they infected her.
Speaking on World Lupus Day about the condition, which affects the immune system, Bryan said: “It has been a really difficult journey... there’s not very much tolerance or understanding for the disease.”
Explaining how she was diagnosed after suddenly being unable to bend one finger, she said: "My right hand then became a claw shape and it wouldn’t sort of open. That went down the rest of my body. I got ulcers in my mouth, I started to lose my hair.”
Tearfully opening up to Loose Women co-stars Judi Love, Frankie Bridge, Charlene White and Nadia Sawalha about her struggle, Bryan detailed the far-reaching effects on her life.
She said: "I’ve had to learn to speak, to walk again.
"I had cerebral lupus, which meant a swelling of my brain. I had a seizure, I lost about three days of my life that I don’t remember at all.
"My family say I was awake and I was very much functioning, but I don’t remember it at all.
"Going through that rehabilitation stage of my life, learning to speak and the struggle of trying to communicate something and not being able to, wanting to have normal conversations with somebody and not being able to get the words out...
"The words from your head to your mouth... the frustrations of not being able to be around my children, because they were a risk to me."
Bryan, 46, also spoke about the heartbreak of being hospitalised by an infection from her daughter, saying: “I’m hypersensitive to infection and Kayori came home one day with a cold and gave it to me, and 48 hours later I was in intensive care and I had pneumonia."
The star has lived with the condition for 20 years and has eight-monthly infusions to keep her blood cell count healthy, which she said now helps her to keep things under control.
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