Gemma Collins says her dad ‘isn’t the same man’ as he suffers with long Covid after ‘distressing’ battle

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Gemma Collins has said her dad Alan “isn’t the same” as his battle with long Covid continues months after he contracted the virus.

Former The Only Way Is Essex star Gemma’s 73 year old dad Alan tested positive for the virus shortly before Christmas, alongside his wife Joan.

During his battle, Alan fought for his life in hospital but he was later discharged shortly before his daughter Gemma’s 40th birthday, which fell on 31 January.

Almost three months on, Gemma has revealed her dad is still battling with symptoms from his fight with coronavirus and suffering from a condition known as long Covid.

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Speaking to new! magazine, Gemma revealed: “He’s got long Covid. He’s not the same man he was before he went into hospital.

“He’s very tired, he gets weak, he gets out of breath and still coughs a lot.”

The reality star, who recently said she’s the “happiest she’s ever been”, continued: “It’s really distressing, but we’re just so grateful he’s alive and hope he will come through the long Covid soon.”

Speaking about the past year, Gemma revealed it has flown by as she said: “I’ve been so busy with everything going on and my dad being in hospital with Covid, so it’s gone really quickly.”

Gemma previously revealed she was “exhausted” after her dad’s “scary” battle with the deadly virus.

During her dad Alan’s coronavirus fight, Gemma stayed low-key on social media to focus on looking after her family. But, spoke out on an Instagram live with Sassyshopwax a day before her birthday earlier this year.

Gemma, who recently showed off her three stone weight loss, admitted the distressing time caused her to lose sleep as she said: “I’m sure people would like an insight into it but it was very touch and go with my dad and I just had retract and just think of myself and my family.

“Once I say I’m more settled I’ll be back in full force on the gram.”

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She continued: “The truth of the matter is it hasn’t been a jovial time for people recently and, you know, there is a pandemic.”

Gemma went on to explain: “You can see how tired I am. I literally haven’t slept… Although I have slept he was in hospital and I was just so worried all the time and it’s only really now that I’m catching up on my sleep.

“It’s only now that I wake up and I’m like: ‘Oh he’s out of hospital now I don’t need to worry’ but I can’t help but worry.

“It’s only really now that he’s home that I’m sort of getting everything back together again.”

After Alan’s release from hospital days before The GC’s birthday, Gemma described her dad being home as the best birthday present after she feared for her dad.

She said on her podcast: “My dad comes home this week, so it's the best birthday I could wish for.”

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