Rory Kinnear has revealed his ‘heroic and inspiring’ disabled sister Karina has died from coronavirus aged 48.
Speaking to The Guardian, the devastated James Bond actor, 42, said Karina had tested positive for coronavirus early last week, with the virus ‘attacking’ her stomach, lungs and kidneys.
Karina died on Sunday afternoon, with her family saying goodbye over FaceTime and the telephone.
Heartbreak: Rory Kinnear has revealed his ‘heroic and inspiring’ disabled sister Karina (pictured,with her brother) has died from coronavirus aged 48
The theatre star said he 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’.
A nurse also held up Karina’s iPad so her mother could narrate her favourite story to her via FaceTime on her mobile.
Rory said his mother then held up her home phone to her mobile so his sister Kirsty could tell Karina how much she loved and would miss her.
Karina had been left severely disabled after suffering a lack of oxygen at birth that caused severe brain damage.
Speaking to The Guardian, the devastated James Bond actor, 44, said Karina had tested positive for coronavirus early last week, with the virus attacking her stomach, lungs and kidneys (pictured in 2012’s Skyfall)
She became paralysed from the waist down aged 19 following a lifesaving operation on her spine.
She also suffered kidney damage after a battle with sepsis in 2014.
Karina, who needed lifelong care, had not been admitted to hospital for 18 months prior to her death, with Rory saying she had ‘defied the odds’ her entire life.
The Bill Tanner star added that ‘no-one could describe Karina as weak’ or ‘more disposable as anyone else, saying: ‘So it was coronavirus that killed her. It wasn’t her ‘underlying conditions’.’
Rory said: ‘Karina’s death is what we have feared ever since the disease took hold so rapaciously in Italy in February.
Tragedy: Rory and Karina’s father, actor Roy Kinnear, died aged 54 in 1988 from a heart attack, brought on by injuries sustained when he fell from a horse (pictured in 1979 with wife Carmel, Rory and daughter Kirsty)
‘Her lung capacity was so diminished that we knew, given the reports of its effects, that it was likely to prove incredibly dangerous for her.
The star said the family had FaceTimed Karina the day before she passed on Saturday, but at that point she was only being kept alive by a BiPap (bilevel positive airway) machine.
They were advised to say their final and socially distanced goodbyes on Sunday.
Praising his sister as ‘ebullient, brave and wry, with a passion for noise, laughter, family and chaos’, Rory went on to call for ‘more support, more options and more recognition’ in the UK for people with disabilities.
The actor has since shared a photo of himself and his sister, with his picture fee going to the Choice Support charity group.
The Kinnear family was hit by tragedy in 1988 when Rory’s father, character actor Roy Kinnear died from a heart attack after falling off a horse during the making of The Return of the Musketeers in Toledo, Spain.
In his memory: In honour of Karina, Roy’s widow Carmel Cryan established The Roy Kinnear Trust in 1994, which was designed to improve the lives of physically and mentally disabled young people (pictured 1988)
Roy sustained a broken pelvis and internal bleeding in the fall on September 19, 1988.
He was taken to hospital in Madrid but died the next day aged 54 from a heart attack brought on by his injuries. Rory was 12 years old while Karina was 16.
In honour of Karina, Roy’s widow Carmel Cryan established The Roy Kinnear Trust in 1994, which was designed to improve the lives of physically and mentally disabled young people.
A specialist home named Roy Kinnear House – built for six young adults with severe disabilities – was opened in 2000.
Karina lived there with others in a home 10 minutes drive from her mother’s house.
The UK announced a further 210 victims of coronavirus on Monday- the lowest daily increase since March 26, as the official number of victims topped 32,000.
New analysis has suggested people working in social care, including care workers and home carers, along with bus drivers and security guards have ‘significantly’ higher death rates involving Covid-19 than the working population as a whole.
The Office For National Statistics reported on Tuesday that 8,312 patients with coronavirus have died in care homes up until May 1 in England and Wales.
This means 37.8% of all coronavirus deaths in England and Wales have been in care homes.
Actor: Rory is best known for his role as Bill Tanner in the James Bond franchise (pictured in upcoming film No Time To Die)