Rory Kinnear: My sister died of coronavirus - but her health conditions didn't mean her life was 'disposable'

Katie Rosseinsky
Daniel Hambury
Daniel Hambury

Rory Kinnear has written a moving essay about his sister Karina, who has died of coronavirus.

In a piece for The Guardian, the actor, 44, revealed that Karina, 48, died in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 last week.

His older sibling had “life-defining” health conditions, suffering “a lack of oxygen at birth that caused severe brain damage” and was left paralysed after “a life-saving operation on her spine aged 19,” he said.

The Bond star told of how he and his family had said “our final virtual goodbyes” to Karina over the phone and on FaceTime over the weekend as they had not been able to visit the hospital due to measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Kinnear wrote that his sister had repeatedly “defied doctors, defied prognoses, [...] defied the capacity of human endurance” throughout her life, surviving sepsis and regular chest infections.

Kinnear wrote movingly of his 'heroic' and 'inspiring' sister ( Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Kinnear wrote movingly of his 'heroic' and 'inspiring' sister ( Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“She was heroic and continually inspiring,” he said. “In fact she had a daredevil’s spirit, forever finding joy in activities many might have shied away from.”

Stressing that “it was coronavirus that killed [Karina],” not her “underlying conditions,” Kinnear wrote: “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. She was vulnerable, yes. She needed the care of others to live.

“I will remain forever grateful to the hundreds of caregivers who have, at one point or another, looked after her with such kindness and dedication, some of whom have maintained a relationship with her long after their retirement.”

He added that the coronavirus crisis is “making the lives of those most in need of our care and compassion even harder, even more fearful,” and shared his hope that the government will “focus [on] the easing of those lives in the future.”

“Maybe we might transfer our common sense of purpose, our shared determination to ‘defeat’ an ‘enemy’ that ‘preys’ on the needy, once ‘the fight against coronavirus’ has been ‘won,’ to invest - financially and emotionally and with a similar level of heroism and selflessness - in the lives of those who will continue to need it most,” he concluded.

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