Eternal and Hollyoaks star Kelle Bryan has told how she could not speak after being struck with a horrible illness.
The 44-year-old mother-of-two was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus in 1999 and suffered a stroke in 2016, stripping her of her ability to talk.
At that time, Hollyoaks bosses had already offered her a part, but the terrifying condition left her with no choice but to turn it down.
Thankfully, they waited, and she was finally well enough to join the Channel 4 soap as Martine Deveraux in September last year.
“It’s amazing to have come through that journey, the loss of speech and ability to do so many things for me. It’s so debilitating,” she told ITV’s Loose Women.
She has to undergo infusion therapy every six months to keep the symptoms at bay and said that, for now, she is well.
Bryan had never even heard of the life-threatening blood disease before she was diagnosed with Lupus in 1998.
Following a legal battle after being sacked from Eternal by fax, the stressful moment in Kelle’s life – which also coincided with her parents’ divorce – led to her Lupus.
Lupus is a blood disease that affects the white blood cells – we’ve all got white blood cells that fight off infection – but with people living with Lupus, those white blood cells fight against their own body.
“I had liver and kidney damage, arthritis symptoms, hair loss, mouth ulcers, sores on my face, arms, and all down my body, and I didn’t heal.
The mother-of-two – who spent ten days in the hospital while doctors did blood tests, biopsies, MRI scans, and horrendous neurological tests – then revealed that she fears her kids could make her seriously ill at any point.
“Sometimes I can’t touch them at all,” she said. “I’m afraid they’ll bring more illnesses from the nursery.”
Hollyoaks actress Kéllé Bryan, 45, returned to the Loose Women panel on Tuesday at their ITV studio after dialing in from her phone for her appearances in the last six months.
She explained that she was back because she returned to London for an infusion she needed to help her manage Lupus, which she was diagnosed with in 2016.
Former Eternal star Kéllé said: “It’s so lovely to be back. I have missed being in this seat and seeing these faces. We can’t interact, but seeing you in person is charming.
“I am back because I have an infusion, and it’s my six monthly infusion for Lupus.”
Ruth Langsford asked: “So every six months you have to go into hospital for a day or two?”
“Yes,” said Kéllé. “I have to be in the chair for about eight hours having the infusion done, which keeps me well and able to live the life I do now.
She revealed she now manages the condition with regular chemotherapy treatment, allowing her to live mostly everyday life.
Kéllé’s co-star Denise Welch burst into tears watching the shocking footage on the screen, and viewers were also emotional.
Speaking about her last round of chemotherapy, Kéllé explained: “It was last week, Friday, I had my previous proximal infusion.
Actress Kelle, who suffers from the autoimmune disease lupus, was left unable to speak, talk or even spell after the attack.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun Online, Kelle said: “I had an infection and then a stroke and everything else all in the one year.
“With Lupus, the disease caused swelling in my brain. And because it was on my brain, everything shut down, as with brain damage.
“I lost my speech. I couldn’t speak or walk. I lost it all. All the neurological things, hiking, talking, and even things like reading and writing, I couldn’t write my name or even text.