Jett Kenny has opened up about the death of his sister, Jaimi, in emotional scenes on SAS Australia.
Drawing praise for his “courage” from his mother Lisa Curry after the program aired, she told him: “Jaimi would be so proud of you.”
As part of a confronting challenge on Tuesday night’s episode, the recruits had to stand in front of their fellow contestants and talk about something they’re most ashamed of.
The 27-year-old ironman told the group he “never fully understood” Jaimi’s health battles with alcohol and an eating disorder, which claimed her life in September last year at only 33.
Jett said his sister had an ongoing battle with mental health issues for 15 years prior to her death, and at one stage, he attempted to have a heart-to-heart with her about it.
“For me it was kind of just, ‘Why are you doing this to yourself?’ And never fully understood it,” Jett said.
“There was one thing I said at her funeral. I’m not gonna say it because it was very personal but I remember saying it to her the night that she asked me….this question, and I gave her the honest truth. And I was hoping that was the harsh reality that she needed – hearing it from her younger brother.
“But she’s gone now. I kind of regret not being there for her more.”
Speaking in a piece-to-camera interview afterwards, Jett said his family, including famous Olympian parents Grant Kerry and Lisa Curry, did everything they could to support Jaimi through her struggles.
“We did everything we could as a family and for Jaimi to try bring her out of it but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. She got told she wasn’t gonna make it to 30. She got to 33,” he said.
“To me, it was like, you have the willpower to change your life and turn things around. But that’s me. I can’t speak for someone who’s going through mental health issues because I’ve never been there.”
“Everyone has to do the best they can for the people they love, but when you can’t it makes you question yourself. Like, ‘Was I a good enough brother?’” Jett added.
As he sat back down, he was comforted by his fellow recruits where he began to shed a tear. “It’s my older sister. Of course I’m going to miss her.”
Jett was interrogated one-on-one toward the end of the episode, where he recalled his final goodbye with Jaimi.
“I remember with my sister passing in September we were all sitting around the hospital bed with her, saying our last goodbyes. And I just remember seeing them (his parents) sitting there, holding her hand, just being, like, ‘What more could we have done?’.
“Mum said it perfectly, she was fighting a demon in her head. And unfortunately the demons got her in the end. She’d beat some away and then more would come back.
“It was good in a way because it was almost like her suffering was over. So she battled on for another eight and a half, nine hours from when I last saw her to when they took the life support off.
“And that’s what she was, she was a fighter. From day one until the very end.”
Jett’s mother Lisa posted a heartfelt to her Instagram account after the episode aired.
Image: Channel 7
This article first appeared on Over60.