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Hughie Maughan's relief as teenage sister is taken off a ventilator in Covid battle

Eoin Murphy

Big Brother star Hughie Maughan has spoken of his relief as his 19-year-old sister is finally moved out of the ICU in her fight against Covid-19.

Mary Ann Maughan, spent two weeks in a critical condition with double pneumonia in Dublin's Mater Hospital after contracting the deadly virus.

However, the reality TV contestant (26), told the Sunday World that his sister has turned a corner and is finally off the ventilator and on the road to recovery.

“My family has had a terrible time with the virus,” he said.

“One person after another got Covid and three of them are still in hospital right now over Covid related issues.

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“Two of them are older with underlying health conditions and it is a worry.

"And my sister was a worry because, I just couldn’t believe how she ended up so sick when she was so young.

“I had to try and be positive or I would have had a breakdown.

“She is still in lockdown now and she won't be out for another few days.

“She has been in there for two weeks and she has a little girl at home who had Covid as well.

"Right now, 17 members of my family have Covid and she is the sickest.

“She has no underlying conditions and then she got double pneumonia and she won’t be well for weeks.

"She spent eight or nine days in ICU on a ventilator and if that isn't enough to scare people I don't know what will."

The mother-of-one tested positive for the virus two weeks ago along with her seven-month-old daughter Gabriella.

And speaking from her hospital bed she said that she hopes other young people can learn from her situation and avoid contracting the lethal virus.

“I’m feeling much better, my breathing is much better, but I still get out of breath but not as much as before even though it still hurts when I cough.

“I couldn’t thank the doctors and nurses enough for everything they have done for me and all I want now is to be back home with my family and baby girl.

Hughie Muaghan, runner up at the Big Brother Final 2016, pictured at Elstree Studios on July 26, 2016 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

“I would also like it if younger people knew that it is a real virus and started to take things more seriously.

“Because I was once like them and I was in a mind frame that I thought I would never get sick.

“But in reality I did.

“I am so happy now that I am in recovery and I just want to be back home .

“Yes has been a really scary time and that feeling of not being able to breath is scary and I am just happy that it is all over with.”

Hughie said he first decided to go public with his sister’s condition when she told him she wanted to warn young people of the dangers of Covid.

Last week both he and Mary Anne posted videos to their Instagram pages, highlighting the teenager’s plight.

But Hughie revealed that both he and his sister were met with an avalanche of viscous and disgusting abuse from “Covid deniers and racists”.

“What happened was I started getting the most disgusting comments and abuse which was just horrific,” he said.

“The abuse has been disgusting saying that the only reason she has Covid is because she is a Traveller, and all Travellers have flouted lockdown.

“That is total rubbish and I have not broken lockdown once.

“Because I have been on TV they are saying that I am being paid to spread fear about Covid and that my sister is an actor and we were making money from these stories.

“That has been horrible and then when you consider that three of my family are in hospital with the virus and 17 in total have tested positive.

“I have had a lot in the last few months personally.

“I have had a break up, I have moved home and all of my business plans have been put-on hold like the rest of the world.

“So, I know why people are looking for a way out of this forced lockdown, but is disrespectful to people's families who are ill.

"This isn’t a fake virus made up by the Government.

“It is real and it affects people of all ages.”

Hughie says that rather than let these trolls and bullies get to him, he is going to use his platform for good and help out local businesses.

“I am trying to stay positive this lockdown by working with local businesses and sharing them online to my following.

“Then just doing some exercise and eat healthy food and just be positive because mentally I am not able for another lockdown.

“The boredom and fear is back like it was during the first lockdown and my anxiety just went through the roof.

"And it was like I was back in Big Brother again.

“Yesterday I went into the shower for a full hour and I remember being on the TV show and being so bored and feeling anxious that I used to go and sit in the shower, on my own, the whole time.

“But it is a time for kindness and it will all be over soon.”

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