As CBBC’s Chelsie Whibley, dies at 29 – here’s how cystic fibrosis cuts life short

CBBC star Chelsie Whibley has tragically died at the age of 29 after battling cystic fibrosis.

The actress, who appeared in hit shows including Dani's House and Sadie J, died after fighting the genetic disorder.

Paying tribute to his wife, Chelsie’s husband Glyn said: “I’m afraid this is the hardest thing I have ever had to write.”

He added: “It was very quick and she was not in any pain. I know you will all want to send your condolences but we ask to please limit it to comments below in this very distressing time.

“To my gorgeous inspiration wife we will love you always.”

Following Chelsie’s tragic death, here’s everything you need to know about the condition…

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What is cystic fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that causes mucus to gather up in the lungs and digestive system.

According to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, around 10,600 people in the UK have the condition.

As noted by the organisation, a person can be born with the condition if they have inherited two copies of the faulty CF gene – one from each parent.

How is it diagnosed?

Newborn babies in the UK are screened for cystic fibrosis using a heel-prick blood test.

Approximately one in 10 children with the condition receive a diagnosis shortly after their birth after experiencing a condition called meconium ileus, which occurs when their intestines become blocked.

What are the symptoms of the condition?

Due to the presence of sticky mucus in the lungs, symptoms of cystic fibrosis often include:

  • a persistent cough
  • wheezing
  • breathing difficulties
  • recurrent chest infections

However, as mucus secretions can affect digestion too, symptoms may include:

  • poor weight gain and growth
  • diarrhoea or constipation

What is the life expectancy of someone with the condition?

As explained by NHS UK, cystic fibrosis usually gets worse over time.

This can be fatal if the condition leads to a person developing a serious infection, or if their lungs stop working.

At present, around half of those with the condition will live beyond the age of 40.

Thanks to advancements in treatment, babies born with cystic fibrosis today are likely to live past this age.

What is the treatment for cystic fibrosis?

Though there is no cure for cystic fibrosis, breakthroughs in medicine mean that people can live longer and healthier lives than in the past.

Staying active can also help clear mucus in the lungs, while eating a balanced diet is important since the mucus makes it hard to digest food.

In some instances, a lung transplant may be suggested if the lungs have stopped working and other treatments have proved unsuccessful.

For more information about cystic fibrosis visit the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

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