Rory Kinnear has lost his disabled sister who has passed away after being diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus at the age of 48.
Karina Kinnear died in a care home on Sunday afternoon, the 48-year-old tested positive for the illness last week which was ‘attacking’ her lungs, kidneys and stomach.
Because of the social-distancing measures the family had to say goodbye over Facetime and a telephone call.
Rory, who is best known for his roles in James Bond movies, said he ‘played Karina one of her favourite songs and told her how proud I was to have been her brother and what gratitude I felt for what she had taught me about life'.
On Saturday, the day before she died, a nurse held a phone up to Karina’s ear so her mother could read her favourite story before Rory’s sister Kirsty could say her emotional final words.
Karina was starved of oxygen at birth leaving her severely disabled and, later in life, paralysed from the waist down.
At the age of 19 she underwent a lifesaving operation on her spine, in 2014 Karina contracted sepsis which left her with kidney damage.
For the rest of her life she needed fulltime care, but her brother said she ‘defied the odds’ and was only admitted to hospital until 18 months before she died.
Rory went on to say ‘no-one could describe Karina as weak' and ‘it was coronavirus that killed her. It wasn't her 'underlying conditions'.'
He continued: 'Karina's death is what we have feared ever since the disease took hold so rapaciously in Italy in February.
'Her lung capacity was so diminished that we knew, given the reports of its effects, that it was likely to prove incredibly dangerous for her’.
Following his sister’s death Rory said he wants 'more support, more options and more recognition' for disabled people in the UK.
In 1998 Rory lost his father and well-known actor Roy Kinnear who sufferd a fatal heart attack filming The Return of the Musketeers.
In his memory Roy’s widow Carmel Cryan launched The Roy Kinnear Trust in 1994 to support young people with physical and learning disabilities.
In 2000 Roy Kinnear House was opened to house six young adults with severe disabilities, it was here Karina spent her final days, 10 minutes’ drive from her mother’s home.
Rory Kinnear played Bill Tanner in the James Bond movies including the forthcoming film No Time To Die.
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