Two-time Big Brother winner Reggie Bird took to social media with a heartbreaking health update.
The 48-year-old Gold Coast-based TV personality, who won the reality series in 2003 and again this year, told her 45,000 followers that she had recently been diagnosed with Usher Syndrome, a disease that affects both hearing and vision.
Bird, who was first declared legally blind in 2008 after being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, shared the heartbreaking health update on Thursday.
“Not what I wanted to hear,” Bird said in a video as she burst into tears. “It’s the worst thing you can have. I will become deaf-blind.
According to the Victorian Government’s Better Health website, Usher syndrome is a genetic condition that affects hearing and vision, which can lead to partial or complete hearing loss and progressive loss of vision.
After becoming one of the country’s most popular TV stars following her 2003 victory, things went downhill for Bird who revealed in 2014 that she had no peripheral vision and her field of vision overall was limited to just 10 degrees. She also said she struggled with depression.
On a personal level, Bird has been divorced twice and has two children, Mia, 15, and Lucas, 12, the latter suffering from cystic fibrosis.
Earlier this year, the down-to-earth character finally returned to the screens of Big brotherof the ‘Contenders vs Royalty’ season, who made history after winning the competition twice, taking home $250,000 in prize money each time.
“Honestly, I’m so proud of myself for doing what I did and trying,” Bird said after his second win.
“I just wanted to show people living with a disability that you can go out and achieve whatever you set your mind to.
“I’m so proud to represent people with disabilities.