Corrie and Emmerdale star Gemma Oaten shares update after ‘nearly dying for fifth time’

Soap star Gemma Oaten has shared a health update after ‘nearly dying for fifth time’. The actress, who is probably best recgonised for starring in both Emmerdale and more recently Coronation Street, had been struck down with coronavirus when her health took a turn for the worse earlier this month.

Gemma, who played Rachel Breckle in Emmerdale, told her fans that she had been diagnosed with a rare condition called Milk-alkali syndrome following a “scary” trip to A&E after suffering problems with her kidney while also dealing with Covid.

A couple of days after sharing news of her hospital dash, the 37-year-old returned to social media and shared a black and white snap of herself in a bed alongside several others from her hospital stay. “Hi everyone. I’m so sorry I’ve been quiet. I’ve been inundated with messages and tried to keep up, as have my parents, but we’ve hit a brick wall [crying with laughter emoji],” she said at the time.

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“I just thought it best to do an update for all you lovely people so our phones can cool down and we can get some rest at what’s been a really horrible time for us all and my close family and friends.”

She went on to explain that she had been diagnosed with milk-alkali syndrome, a rare condition where there is a high level of calcium in the body, otherwise known as hypercalcemia, which causes a an imbalance of acid and base toward alkaline (metabolis alkalosis) and can lead to the loss of kidney functions.

Continuing her recovery at home in London, Gemma, who briefly appeared in Corrie last year, explained in a lengthy Instagram post how she was feeling about her diagnosis and discussed how it has made her re-evaluate her life.

She shared a picture of herself as she smiled at the camera, pointing at her face as her blonde hair fell over her shoulders. Gemma wrote: “My kidney failure face is leaving! The first day my face and body have felt anything like mine. Yay! Still got a little bit of ‘kidney pie eye’ as I affectionately call it but hey, I’ll take that!”

She continued: “I’ve been taking time, reflecting and processing. There’s so much to say, so much I want to explain, make you aware of & use from this experience to help, I pray, many. But I had to take stock. As I realised there was too much I firstly had to tell myself: ‘Hold dear your time, Gem’.”

While she called what she has been going through as “hell”, Gemma said she had “found something she has been searching for in what feels like forever,” which she called “calm and clarity”.

She went on: “I now know why I’ve felt so ill physically all these months & I now know why I’ve battled so hard mentally. It sounds madness but I’ve never felt so excited to KNOW & to be PRESENT. You can grow flowers where dirt used to be.”

Gemma added: “This last week, being home in london alone, has been a revelation for me. I’ve had time to listen to what I need. Time to heal. Time to process trauma. Time to turn the negative to a life changing positive. I’ve nearly lost my life 4 times before to an eating disorder, but this 5th time was different (I really need to stop thinking I’m a bloody cat?!) this time there was no ED & I was present. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve done both at the same time. 1 day been sick, the next ready to fight, but each day I’ve listened & learned.”

Gemma has been back at work with her charity

Shen ended her post by writing: “Thank you for your love & support. Make sure you return the favour to yourself.” And she has since been back on the social media platform as on Thursday she made her first outing since the ordeal to Number 10 Downing Street to continue conversations around better support for eating disorders and mental health having been in recovery from an eating disorder for 15 years now.

But she also reassured her followers: “Fear not. I’m taking it steady & off now to rest ahead of Mummy & Daddy O arriving tomorrow with my baby girl ruby for a relaxed & lovely Bank Holiday weekend filled with love, R&R & TLC. Because, I matter too.”