Veteran DJ Johnnie Walker is housebound and requires care from wife

Veteran DJ Johnnie Walker is housebound and requires care from wife Veteran DJ Johnnie Walker is housebound and requires care from wife

He has broadcast his beloved Radio 2 shows from his Dorset home since the onset of the pandemic.

But veteran DJ Johnnie Walker is now so unwell that he has been completely housebound since January, with wife Tiggy acting as his round-the-clock carer.

The long-time BBC Radio broadcaster, 79, who started his career on pirate station Radio Caroline, has been suffering from Idiopathic Pulminary Fibrosis - an inflammation of the lungs - for the past four years.

And a trip to London to broadcast from Wogan House on New Year's Eve had devastating effects, meaning he has not left his house since, according to his wife.

Mrs Walker, herself a broadcaster and long-time producer, has said she now acts as her husband's 'carer 24/7' and their lives have changed beyond 'all recognition.'

She wrote in Dorset Magazine: 'I expected him to be tired the next day, but something far worse happened. The effort had been too great on his already sick body. It was as if his health fell off a cliff.

'The weeks that followed were a blur of nurses, doctors, oxygen machines and wheelchairs. In 24 hours, our lives had changed out of all recognition.

'That was in January, and The Pirate has not left home since then, I am a carer 24/7.'

She said her husband has recorded his Radio 2 shows 'wearing PJ's, sat in a wheelchair with a nose canula feeding him oxygen.'

Mrs Walker said that the 'shock' she has experienced has been 'profound' and she was left 'overwhelmed' by how much support he needed, 'how little' she had and the fact their home was 'starting to resemble a hospital.' Mrs Walker has had to care for her husband before, when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in his colon just after their honeymoon in 2003.

Walker then had to care for his wife when, in 2013, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

But, she said, she is now 20 years older and is 'exhausted by the end of each day.' A patron of Carers UK, she said she has seen a major change in the support and treatment for carers since the first time she did it, which left her with 'form of PTSD' that lasted throughout her marriage.

'The good change is that the medics, friends and family alike ask how I am,'

'They all tell me that I must look after myself. I was even offered counselling by the GP's surgery (who has time for that?!).

'I am no longer invisible as a carer. I too am a human being with needs. Not just an unlucky wife.' She said that Walker's devoted listenership, who tune in every week to Sunday's Sounds of the 70s and Friday's The Radio 2 Rock Show, 'definitely get the best of him,' conceding: 'That's how it should be.' She added: 'He's been a part of their lives for so long, and I'm so proud that he finds the strength each week to record his show.

'I'm also proud of myself. Somehow, I'm finding the strength to give him the most steadfast support that I can.

'When the caring role ends, my life will be very different. But I push that thought away.' Despite his illness, Mrs Walker said her husband is 'extraordinarily strong and determined individual who will not let his failing lungs and disability keep him down.'

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  • https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/other/veteran-dj-johnnie-walker-is-housebound-and-requires-care-from-wife/ar-BB1nUPQy?ocid=00000000

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