Rory Kinnear’s sister Karina has died aged 48 after contracting coronavirus – with the actor stating her life was ‘not disposable’.
The James Bond star wrote an article for The Guardian in which he shot down beliefs that those with disabilities and underlying conditions are more disposable than anybody else during the global pandemic.
Writing for the Guardian, the 44-year-old confirmed that on Sunday afternoon, Karina passed away, with her family saying goodbye over FaceTime and the telephone.
Over the phone, Kinnear had ‘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’.
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Karina had tested positive for coronavirus just a week ago, when it ‘quickly attacked her stomach, her lungs and her kidneys’.
Kinnear explained that when the coronavirus pandemic worsened around the world, his family grew concerned as Karina’s lung capacity was severely diminished.
She had suffered severe brain damage at birth due to lack of oxygen, was left paralysed from the waist down aged 19 after spinal surgery and suffered kidney damage with sepsis in 2014.
However, while Karina needed lifelong care, she had not been in hospital for 18 months prior to her death, with Kinnear writing: ‘So it was coronavirus that killed her. It wasn’t her “underlying conditions”.’
The Othello actor continued: ‘No one could describe Karina as weak: she did not have it coming, she was no more disposable than anyone else.
‘Her death was not inevitable, does not ease our burden, is not a blessing.’
Kinnear, also known for his roles in Black Mirror and Penny Dreadful, has been praised for the article dedicated to his sister, with the piece circulating widely on Twitter.
Writer Jenny Colgan tweeted: ‘I expect this will travel far and wide today and it should, it’s beautiful’, while actor Sally Phillips wrote: ‘This has really made me cry. #Rorykinnear I am so sorry.’
Kinnear has another sister, Kirsty, while he is dad to son Riley and daughter Hope with partner Pandora Colin.
So far in the UK, there have been 223,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with over 32,000 people dying from the virus.
There were 8,314 deaths in care homes involving coronavirus between 10 April and 8 May in England reported by care providers.