Britain’s ‘most popular’ PCSO has spoken for the first time about her ongoing battle with meningitis.
Fun-loving Kirsty Down, 29, who won the title of best Tweeting PCSO earlier this year for her hilarious posts to nearly 12,000 followers, was taken to hospital earlier this month.
She temporarily lost her sight after contracting the infection – which causes inflammation in the brain or spinal cord.
In a video update to all her followers on Twitter, Kirsty, still visibly out of breath, said she won’t be back at work for some time but revealed that she was now on the mend.
She also said she was overwhelmed by the hundreds of messages of support she received – including posts from celebrities such as Phillip Schofield.
Brave Kirsty, of Saltash, Cornwall, said: “Hi everyone, I wanted to send a message of thanks to everyone that has tweeted, sent messages, cards and had me in their thoughts while I’ve been ill for the last three weeks.
“I’m overwhelmed by all the love and support that has been sent my way.
“Not only from you guys watching this, but also people in my community, my friends and colleagues at Devon and Cornwall Police and also my supervisors who have supported me and my family through a really difficult time.”
Kirsty, who tweets under the title @SaltashPCSO, said she was now on the road to recovery, but is continuing to suffer with the infection’s symptoms.
She added: “As you can hear I’m still not very well so I won’t be back for some time, but slowly but surely I’m getting there and I’m surrounded by amazing people.
“I just wanted to keep in touch and say thanks to everyone that has sent me so much love. Look after yourselves and I’ll see you soon.”
Hundreds of supportive comments have been posted across social media from the many, many people who know and respect the officer in all corners of the country.
Kirsty said: “I’ve been overwhelmed with the notifications that I have and I can’t quite keep up with them all.
“So this is my message to everyone, thanks so much, it’s very much appreciated and keeping my spirits lifted.”
This Morning host Phillip Schofield even tweeted his support for Kirsty.
He wrote: “Heard you’re not very well, just wanted to say hi and get well soon.”
The broadcaster, who co-hosts This Morning with Holly Willoughby, also congratulated the officer on winning an award for the ‘Best Tweeting PCSO’ title of 2016 after the award results were announced last month.