(Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Actress and comedian Nina Wadia, who most recently participated in Strictly Come Dancing where she was partnered with professional dancer Neil Jones, talked to Kidney Research UK and opened up about losing her mother to a chronic health condition. Wadia lost her mother, Homai, in 1999 after a failed kidney transplant led to polycystic kidney disease (PKD).

Recalling hours spent at her mother’s bedside while she endured dialysis, the Still Open All Hours actress said, “It was like a family day out! We would visit her on the renal ward at Hammersmith Hospital and got to know all the other families in there, hear their stories, share their pain. It united us. Like a kidney community!

“We would celebrate when somebody had a transplant or commiserate when things were tough. It became home from home.”

Talking about when she found out her mother was ill, Wadia said: “When mum became really ill, I was touring with the Goodness Gracious Me shows on stage. I was playing the part of funny girl, when all I wanted to do was rush home to see mum. At one point during the tour, I had a complete meltdown in the wings. The last thing I felt like doing was making people laugh, but the show had to go on. It was a tough time.”

She continued, “One night I even found myself rushing through the lines quicker than normal without meaning to as I just wanted to get back to mum. It felt like two different worlds. Kidney disease feels like a life sentence with no guarantees. People don’t understand how that affects a person’s wellbeing, how it impacts families and they certainly don’t understand that a kidney transplant is not always a happy ending.”

Tags: Nina Wadia, Still Open All Hours, Goodness Gracious Me