Mum’s broken heart as Jaimi’s private battle revealed
HEARTBROKEN friends and family of Jaimi Kenny have paid tribute to the "fighter" and "bright, loving soul" as it emerged she waged a private battle against an eating disorder before her death.
High-profile Australians are rallying around her devastated parents, former swimming champ Lisa Curry and her ironman ex-husband, Grant Kenny, after the 33-year-old died on Monday from what her family said was a "long-term illness".
An outpouring of tributes and support for the family was led by swimmer Tracey Wickham, comedian Magda Szubanski and TV icons Bert and Patti Newton.
But none were as moving as that from her mother, who said the loss was so painful she could "barely breathe".
Curry said Jaimi was "so loved, so beautiful, (and) so kind to everyone".
"I will miss you every sunrise, I will miss you when the sun is shining and the birds are singing," she wrote on social media.
"I will miss you when the clouds are dark and stormy and when the rainbow appears. I will miss you when I close my eyes."
It is understood Jaimi had been battling an eating disorder for some time before her death at Sunshine Coast University Hospital on Monday.
It is understood Jaimi was being cared for by Sunshine Coast clinic End ED, which specialises in treating people with eating disorders.
When contacted yesterday, the clinic said it wanted to respect the privacy of her grieving family.
Jaimi's best friend, Millie Thomas - who is a recovery coach at End ED - shared an emotional message that "heaven is very lucky" to have her "soul sister".
"You are my best friend + my soul sister + you always will be," Ms Thomas wrote.
"My heart is shattered into a million pieces right now - I can't fathom life without you.
"My days will never ever be the same without your love, your light + your laughter.
"You mean the world to me darling heart + I will love you forever and always.
"Heaven is so very lucky to have you."
Ms Thomas has been close with Jaimi for years through her health battles. She once shared on Instagram that she "couldn't be more proud" of her best friend when she turned 30 in 2017, using hashtags including #fighter.
Eating disorder organisation The Butterfly Foundation said Jaimi's death was devastating.
"We are devastated to hear this news and our heart goes out to Jaimi's family at this incredibly difficult time," Butterfly's Kevin Barrow said.
"Unfortunately, it's the severity of these illnesses that cause them to have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses."
Wickham, a former teammate of Curry's who lost her daughter, Hannah, to cancer in 2007, said her heart broke for her friend.
"It's a tragic time when losing a child. I can't believe we both have lost our beloved beautiful daughters," she wrote.
Szubanski said: "Lisa I am just devastated on your behalf. Sending all the love and support in the world."
Patti Newton wrote on behalf of herself and Bert: "Can't stop thinking about you, my heart is with you love B and P x."
But Jaimi also touched the lives of everyday Australians, including those she shared a hospital ward with.
Shea Osborn's grandmother was in the same Sunshine Coast University Hospital ward and said the pair struck up a friendship and Jaimi even wrote her a letter.
"I remember my grandpa crying as he read it as Jaimi had such beautiful words to say," she said.
Jaimi's brother, Jett Kenny, said he knew they loved each other "unconditionally".
"The world lost one of its treasures yesterday but heaven gained one," he wrote on Instagram.
In a cruel twist for the grieving family, a Facebook impostor impersonating Curry's husband started a funding page late yesterday.
Curry took to Facebook urging those on social media to not open any messages from the fake account using husband Mark Andrew Tabone's name. "SOME PEOPLE" she wrote on Facebook, "someone has started a go fund me page on Mark Andrew Tabone FB page … this is NOT US." She urged people not to open anything from the account.
Call the National Support Line for eating disorders, 1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673), for free confidential support, help and information.
Originally published as Mum's broken heart as Jaimi's private battle revealed