Carol McGiffin has revealed her terror after her beloved sister Kim was rushed to hospital on New Year’s Eve.
The former Loose Women star penned a poignant essay for Best magazine detailing her family’s heartbreaking past year and fears for sister Kim’s health.
Carol, 57, recalled how she received a phone call at the end of the year saying Kim, 59, had taken ill.
It came after an incredibly difficult period for the family which saw them grieving little sister Tracy, who died from cancer at the age of just 53, and Kim’s partner Shaun passing away from leukaemia.
Carol has also battled breast cancer herself. She was diagnosed with the disease in 2014 and underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation.
So, naturally, when Kim was taken to hospital, Carol feared it could be cancer.
Writing in her Best column, Carol explained: “Kim had been rushed to hospital with agonising stomach pain, so painful that she couldn’t speak or breathe to even call herself an ambulance.
“I felt extreme fear. She’d lost so much weight, it was terrifying. I didn’t want to leave the hospital. She looked so sick.”
While Carol initially feared a cancer diagnosis, tests and biopsies revealed Kim has a serious and life-long intestinal condition.
After eleven days in hospital, Kim was allowed home, but Carol said her sister is “still pretty unwell” right now.
She wrote in her magazine column that Kim’s illness had been a “wake up call” that everyone needs to look after their health and well-being, saying Kim had been working full time, caring for the whole family and making long journeys to visit Shaun in hospital.
Carol’s full column is in the new issue of Best, out now.
Carol has yet to speak about her sister’s health scare on her Twitter account.
She was absent from the social media network between New Year’s Eve and January 15, when she returned to post a happy birthday message to fiancé Mark Cassidy.
He proposed back in 2008, but Carol later said they’d delayed the wedding planning while she recovered from cancer.
She said: “I keep thinking the cancer will come back, which is making me not do things.”
In another interview last year she insisted: “Of course [the wedding is still on]! It’s definitely going to happen next year. Although, to be fair, I have said that for the last five or six years.”
Best wishes to both Carol and Kim.