Loose Women host Andrea McLean was born in Glasgow, Scotland and has graced television screens for many years on the popular ITV show. The presenter had a terrifying health battle back in 2016 which left her close to death. McLean started her career as a freelance travel writer before joining Central Press Features and being promoted to Production Editor. McLean later joined The Weather Cannel and later worked as a weather presenter for GMTV.
Her bubbly personality and journalistic training brought her the attention of producers on Loose Women and worked as a guest panelist, later becoming the main presenter of the show.
McLean was diagnosed with medium vessel vasculitis, a disease which caused blood vessels to inflame and can stop blood from moving to vital organs.
According to the NHS, vasculitis means inflammation of the blood vessels. “Inflammation is your immune system’s natural response to injury or infection.
“It causes swelling and can help the body deal with invading germs. But in vasculitis, for some reason the immune system attacks healthy blood vessels, causing them to become swollen and narrow.
“This may be triggered by an infection or a medicine, although often the cause is unknown.”
Speaking to the Mirror, McLean said: “When you think life is coming to an end, you’ve never wanted to live so much, I stopped being afraid of saying what I wanted. And I stopped caring what people thought of me.”
McLean explained the disease left her feeling exhausted and bed-ridden when she developed something as simple as a rash.
The TV presenter’s condition was discovered while she was having a hysterectomy in 2016.
Symptoms of vasculitis include fever, headache, fatigue, weight loss, aches and pains, night sweats, nerve problems and a rash.
Luckily she made a full recovery and explained her new lease on life: “It made me re-evaluate things. I suppose you could say it was a wake-up call.
“I wrote down a list of ambitions that I hadn’t pushed myself towards through fear or lack of confidence.
“I needed to face up to the reality I held myself back subconsciously because I was scared. And with the threat of serious illness hanging over me, I now knew that I couldn’t hold myself back any longer.
“I’ve been given a second chance and I’m not going to waste it. There’s a lesson for everyone there. Don’t doubt yourself. Don’t give up.”
There are many types of vasculitis, and most of them are rare. Vasculitis might affect just one organ, or several.
The condition can be short term or long lasting. Vasculitis can affect anyone, though some types are more common among certain groups. Depending on the type a person may have, they may improve without treatment. Some types require medications to control the inflammation and prevent future flare-ups.
McLean is a mum of two and recently married businessman, Nick Feeney. The couple met on a blind date set up by Loose Women make-up artist.