addressed Fiona Phillip’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis as she led the messages of support to the former GMTV host on Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday, Fiona revealed that she and her husband were left in ‘total shock’ when the doctors diagnosed her with after having feared her brain fog symptoms were a sign of .
Following the news, Susanna said while live on : ‘We are all sending our huge best wishes this morning to Fiona Phillips, well known to all of you as the former presenter of GMTV, for more than a decade.
‘She is a hugely popular presenter and journalist, we all know and love her, she has also been an incredible advocate to family’s living with Alzheimer’s.
‘Her mother was diagnosed in her 50s, or the symptoms were certainly picked up, her father then in his 60s and her uncle as well.
Support: Susanna Reid addressed Fiona Phillip’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis as she led the messages of support to the former GMTV host on Wednesday morning
News: On Tuesday, Fiona revealed that she and mpoagen her husband were left in ‘total shock’ when the doctors diagnosed her with Alzheimer’s after having feared her brain fog symptoms were a sign of menopause
‘And now Fiona herself has been diagnosed, it’s called young-onset Alzheimer’s.She was diagnosed at the age of 61.’
Meanwhile, her co-host Ed Balls said Fiona was an ‘iconic broadcaster’ and recalled how former PM Gordon Brown had once begged her to ditch her TV career so that she could join the government.
Ed said that Mr Brown had believed Fiona would make a ‘brilliant’ public health minister if she were to pursue the career change.
However, he said: ‘I think we decided that broadcasting was her priority.So fair enough to her for deciding that – she would have been brilliant.’
He continued: ‘I would guess that Fiona has been thinking about this for a long time and now it’s a reality that she’s been dealing with and so bravely.
‘She’s involved in a big trial to try and test out drugs which might make a difference and she wants to pioneer, she wants to talk about it.
‘She wants to help other people deal with this but she’ll be doing all of that, helping other people as she’s always done while also having to deal with it which is so tough.’
Susanna concluded: ‘We wish Fiona all our best, we send her all our love.’
Support system: Fiona is currently involved in a clinical trial for the condition, as she told how her husband, This Morning boss Martin Frizell, has been injecting her daily (pictured 2022)
On Twitter, Lorraine Kelly and Piers Morgan were among the celebrities paying tribute to Fiona following her announcement about the diagnosis.
Lorraine said: ‘As expected our much loved Fiona is dealing with this shattering diagnosis with courage and optimism.She’s a good kind soul and I pray the treatment works and results in a massive breakthrough for everyone dealing with this hellish disease. Sending her and her family all my love.’
Alongside her post, Fiona shared a video of Fiona discussing her diagnosis as she insisted she wasn’t putting her life on hold for the disease.
She said: I’ve been trying not to think about it really.I’ve just been carrying on. That’s all you can do really.’
Fiona is currently involved in a clinical trial for the condition, as she told how her husband, This Morning boss Martin Frizell, has been injecting her daily.
Speaking of her husband’s support, she said: ‘He’s been brilliant.’
And sharing more detail about the drugs in the clinical trial, she said: ‘They’re brand new and they’re expecting a lot from them.So am I.’
Fiona’s mother, father and uncle have all heartbreaking also been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the past.
She said: The [impact] on my family. It’s absolutely decimated my mum, my dad and my uncle Barry.It just goes on and on. They always used to say to me it’s not hereditary, well there’s something going on.’
Discussing how she is dealing with the condition, she said: ‘I’m just getting on with it, I’m not taking any notice of it.I’m not not doing anything, I’m just doing what I normally do.
‘I don’t want to not work, I don’t want to be sitting around. I just like doing things.’
Sharing his support to the star, Piers said: ‘What incredibly sad news, but how typically honest & courageous of Fiona to speak out about it.Lovely lady, wish her and her family all the best as they battle this horrible disease.’
Many fans online spoke about how Fiona comes across as a ‘lovely woman’, as they shared their sadness over her health news.
Some who are also battling Alzheimer’s, or care for a relative who has the condition, shared their love and support to the star.
Fiona told how she originally saw the onset of ‘crippling anxiety’, ‘confusion’ and ‘brain fog’ at the end of 2021, she has revealed.Due to the nature of her symptoms, she saw a menopause specialist and underwent hormone replacement therapy.
Some of her symptoms improved, but the brain fog remained. She was examined by other specialists, spent months completing cognitive tests and ultimately received her dreaded diagnosis last year which was confirmed by a spinal tap test.
‘It was the shock..Total shock,’ she said of the moment she and her husband, TV’s This Morning editor Martin Frizell, were told of the diagnosis.
‘I just felt sick. We both sat in silence. There was no funny line to make this go away,’ Martin, 64, recalled.’The doctor said he’d leave us in the room alone for a bit to digest it all. We just looked at each other and said: ‘S**t. What are we going to do?’
The couple then went for a drink at a nearby bar, where they are now regulars, and were faced with the task of ‘trying to live our life as normal for now’. It is understood that Fiona is undergoing a potentially revolutionary trial with a new drug which is hoped will slow or even reverse the illness for millions of people.
She is currently being supported by Martin, whom she married in 1997. They are parents to Nat, 24, and Mackenzie, 21.Until now, the couple had not told their children directly that their mother has Alzheimer’s.
Fiona originally saw the onset of ‘crippling anxiety’, ‘confusion’ and ‘brain fog’ at the end of 2021.She saw a menopause specialist and underwent hormone replacement therapy. Some of her symptoms improved, but the brain fog remained. She is pictured on GMTV alongside presenter Eamonn Holmes in 1997
Fiona pictured with her father, Neville, who died from the disease in 2012
Alzheimer’s also killed her mother Amy in 2006, after she began experiencing symptoms in her early 50s
Fiona presented GMTV for more than a decade before leaving the show (pictured: Fiona alongside Eamonn Holmes)
Fiona told last night that she had received the news of the devastating dementia disease, which killed both her parents, around a year ago, having suffered from months of brain fog and anxiety.
She said the diagnosis was ‘heartbreaking’, continuing: ‘It’s a b****y horrible’ secret to share.
Martin added: ‘Tragically Fiona’s family has been riddled with it [Alzheimer’s].’
The journalist has described her agony from being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s after she last night revealed her battle against the disease which ravaged her family, vowing to fight on.
‘It’s something I might have thought I’d get at 80’, the 62-year-old said.’But I was still only 61 years old.