Paralympian Kadeena Cox has said her “really vulnerable moments” during her time on I’m A Celebrity demonstrated the strength of the bond she shared with her campmates.
The four-time Paralympic gold champion, who has multiple sclerosis (MS), said she was comforted that she could “be all that I am” in a safe environment.
After becoming the second contestant to be voted off the ITV series, she spoke about the difficulties her condition presented during her stay at Castle Gwrych.
“It turns out MS is never nice to you, so I really struggled with the fatigue side of things and my spasms were being quite a problem,” she said.
“There were points where my speech was really slurred and everyone was really worried about me and … where campmates literally had to get me into bed, they had to help me go to the toilet.
“It was a real struggle and the days were really up and down. It was tough, tougher than I ever expected.
“At the same time, in those really vulnerable moments, they were the moments where I realised how strong my bonds were with the campmates and how loved I was.
“It was really nice to know that I could be all I am, when they know how bad my MS gets and we just laughed our way through it.”
Cox added that the environment inside the camp was “really loving” most of the time, with viewers only experiencing a small part of the day-to-day.
“You guys only see an hour’s snippet of the day but most of the time it’s really loving,” she said.
“I absolutely loved my time in there, loved the people and just loved that I was able to be myself in there and be vulnerable and feel like I was in a safe space to be able to do that.”
She added that she had not yet been in touch with fellow contestants Dame Arlene Phillips and Richard Madeley, who have also exited the show.
Dame Arlene, who at 78, was the oldest ever contestant to participate in the series was the first to be eliminated after receiving the fewest public votes on Sunday.
Presenter Madeley was forced to bow out after a precautionary visit to the hospital meant he broke coronavirus restrictions.
“I only got my phone back last night and I just wanted to call my mum and my little dog mini, she’s so cute,” said Cox.
“I’ve got a million and one messages and I’m just not ready to face it yet.
“It feels really surreal being out and a little bit overwhelming but it was lush to have proper food and a bed even though my stomach is not quite used to the amount of food I decided to eat.”