Mary Berry addresses past health battle that left her with a ‘funny’ left hand

Mary Berry stars in trailer for Best Home Cook

Mary Berry, 85, is very hands on when it comes to baking, with numerous cooking shows and books behind her that fans wonder if there’s anything those hands of hers can’t do! But the pastry whizz admitted she suffers with a “funny left hand”; the aftermath of suffering with polio when she was younger.

Everybody thinks I’ve got arthritis. I look a bit funny when I’m rolling pastry

Mary Berry

Polio is a serious viral infection that used to be common in the UK and worldwide, which can infect a person’s spinal cord, causing paralysis of the limbs.

At the age of 13, Mary contracted the disease and spent three months in hospital in isolation.

The condition only affected the left side of her body, affecting her hand which is often mistaken for arthritis by television viewers.

Regardless, she admitted she was “let off very lightly” under the circumstances.

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In a recent interview, the 85-year-old spoke about her diagnosis and how she would urge everyone to take the vaccine to protect themselves against the relentless disease.

“I had polio, but now almost the whole world is vaccinated against it,” she said.

“If you’re in a hospital like I was, with people in callipers, people in pain, people who weren’t going to get better – I think everyone should take the vaccine, not query it, and think of others.”

She added: “I was immensely fortunate. I only had it on my left side, and I’ve got a funny left hand.

“Everybody thinks I’ve got arthritis. I look a bit funny when I’m rolling pastry, but I have no other difficulties whatsoever.”

She confessed she wasn’t as good as sport as she used to be prior to the illness but remains “grateful”.

“I was let off very lightly. I’m grateful,” she told Radio Times.

Her previous health battle comes after Mary and her husband both received the coronavirus vaccine earlier this month, as the UK government continue to roll the Pfizer vaccine, which has currently reached over four million people.

Much like her appreciation for vaccines for viral diseases such as polio, Mary was adamant no one should turn this down.

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She said: “I was so pleased, particularly for my husband.

“I would encourage everyone, if it’s offered to them, to definitely have the vaccine.”

Like the rest if us, she has been separated from her family members for far too long, unable to see much of her five grandchildren during lockdown but she explained they have kept in touch by phone.

Mary’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times [RADIO TIMES]

“I think that we’re very lucky in this day and age to have all these different forms of communication,” Mary admitted.

She continued to joke: “And because I’m quite ancient, I’ve got a lot of girlfriends who’ve lost their husbands or their other halves. It’s been great having phone calls with them. What are they getting up to? How are they coping?”

She explained she makes sure she rings someone every day to have a “long, long chat”, something she never would have found the time to do before.

Mary’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times.

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