Actor Rory Kinnear is sharing the tragic story surrounding his sister's death due to COVID-19. Kinnear, who has appeared in recent James Bond films as Tanner, reflected on his family's experience having to say goodbye from afar amid the global pandemic in a personal essay in The Guardian published Tuesday he titled, "My sister died of coronavirus. She needed care, but her life was not disposable."
Kinnear, 44, wrote that his sister Karina, who had severe brain damage after failing to get enough oxygen at birth and suffered a number of other health conditions, died at 48 years old after testing positive for the coronavirus. Due to travel restrictions, Kinnear and his family were unable to be by Karina's side when she passed, having to say their goodbyes virtually.
With a nurse holding up an iPad for Karina, Kinnear's mom told her daughter's favorite story and "thanked her for the happiness she had brought us all." Kinnear's other sister, Kirsty, was then able to say via phone "how much she loved her and would miss her." As for the actor, he played his sister her favorite song over the speaker from his home "and told her how proud I was to have been her brother and what gratitude I felt for what she had taught me about life."
Karina had a number of health problems in her life, having become paralyzed from the waist down and previously suffering kidney damage with sepsis, but Kinnear wrote in his essay that never held her back from amazing his family at every turn. "Her conditions weren’t just 'underlying,' they were life-defining, for her and for us, even if she remained unaware of their severity," he wrote. "But Karina had defied predictions her entire life."
With her mother's "ferocious determination" to keep her alive, Kinnear said his sister "defied medicine, she defied doctors, she defied prognoses, she defied the capacity of human endurance," all while giving you a smile "as if to say: 'Yep. I did it again.'" Praising his late sister as "heroic" and "continually inspiring" with a "daredevil's spirit," Kinnear wrote that it was the "virulent, aggressive and still only partially understood" coronavirus that killed her. "No one could describe Karina as weak: she did not have it coming, she was no more disposable than anyone else," he said. "Her death was not inevitable, does not ease our burden, is not a blessing."