Fiona Phillips opens up about her Alzheimer's diagnosis
ITV star Fiona Phillips has been open about her heartache over her parents’ “hell” whilst battling Alzheimer’s.
Fiona, 62, who has now been diagnosed with the disease herself, revealed her mother suffered with the onset of the disease very early on – during her mid-50s.
The GMTV presenter described that time in her life as “sheer hell” leaving her with “many scars”.
In an honest column for The Mirror back in 2021, Fiona recalled the difficult time she faced during her parents’ battle with Alzhiemer’s, before losing both her mum and dad to the illness.
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She divulged: “I smile now, but at the time – with a full-time, early-morning TV job to hold down, daily 3.30am alarm calls, plus two very young sons to care for as well as both of my parents, who lived in West Wales, it was sheer hell and has left many scars.
“Not least the fact that when I forget something – which, let’s face it, we all do at stressed or busy times – I’m convinced it’s the beginning of the end of my cogent mind.”
The GMTV star added: “With Mum’s Alzheimer’s I’d never felt so angry and helpless”.
Fiona revealed at the time that she felt let down by GPs, describing them to be “pretty ignorant over early-onset dementia” and her mother’s condition.
She also shared hopes that medical research and studies will hopefully one day develop a cure for the disease.
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“For those of us who’ve seen the damage this horrible, incurable condition can wreak, a breakthrough can’t come soon enough,” she explained.
This comes as the presenter shared her own battle with the disease this week.
Her shock diagnosis came after she feared her brain fog symptoms were a sign of menopause – even seeing a menopause specialist and undergoing hormone replacement therapy back in 2021.
Despite some of her symptoms improving, her brain fog continued.
This then lead to her being examined by other specialists, spending months completing cognitive tests, which resulted in the dreaded diagnosis last year, which was confirmed by a spinal tap.
Fiona recalled to The Mirror of telling her husband, This Morning editor Martin Frizell, about her diagnosis: “It was the shock.. Total shock”.
“I just felt sick. We both sat in silence. There was no funny line to make this go away.
“The doctor said he’d leave us in the room alone for a bit to digest it all. We just looked at each other and said ‘S**t’. What are we going to do?”.
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