Real Life

Polly Gillespie opens up about losing her sister to the flu

The radio host pens a revealing new column about the heartbreaking death of her beloved sister

Polly Gillespie has opened up about the devastating loss of her sister Jeanette in a new column pleading for Kiwis to get vaccinated against the flu.

In her latest piece for the Herald, The Hits radio host writes that she lost her beloved older sister and “best friend” in October 2000, after Jeanette suffered a fatal bout of influenza.

“She got sick on the Tuesday and was dead on the Saturday. It was a horrible death. I’ll never forget sitting with her all through the night,” Polly wrote, adding that she watched as the blood “seeped from [Jeanette’s] eyes, nose and ears” and her hands and feet eventually turned black.

The sudden loss was even more shocking as Jeanette had been the picture of health, Polly said, describing her sister as a “fitness fanatic” who went to the gym regularly and was both a talented artist and scientist.

“The problem was because she was so young and fit, her body was battling the infection so hard that it killed itself in the struggle,” Polly revealed.

Tragically, Polly revealed her sister hadn’t had the flu shot as she didn’t think she needed it. Now, the radio star is urging Kiwis to get vaccinated.

“Influenza kills young, amazing, gifted, beautiful, incredible people. It’s quick, and it’s brutal, and extraordinarily messy. Please get vaccinated.”

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