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"I never fully understood it." Jett Kenny on his sister Jaimi's death.

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On Tuesday night's episode of SAS Australia, the celebrity recruits shared their most 'shameful' secrets.

In the emotional scene, 26-year-old ironman Jett Kenny, the son of Olympians Grant Kenny and Lisa Curry, explained how his sister Jaimi Kenny's mental health struggles, and her death in September 2020 aged 33, impacted him.

Grant and Lisa announced the news about Jaimi's death in a joint statement at the time, stating Jaimi had died in hospital following a battle with a "long-term illness". 

Watch: Jett recalls his final goodbye with Jaimi. Post continues below video.


Video via Channel 7.

On SAS, Jett told the group his biggest shame is "never feeling good enough".

"I set my standards very high. But if I don't get them I put it all back on myself, and I let that affect me heaps, I guess a way I became like that was with my sister."

Jett said his sister had struggled with mental health for 15 years, but he never really understood it.

"For me it was just like 'why are you doing this to yourself?' I never fully understood it," he said.

He said she'd once asked him a question, to which he replied with what he intended to be a 'reality check'.

"There was one thing I said at her funeral. I'm not going to say it because it was very personal, but I remember saying it to her the night that she asked me this question. 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."

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In a piece to camera, Jett said he and his family had done everything they could to support Jaimi.

"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's like, you have the willpower to change your life and turn things around, but that is me. I can't speak for someone who is going through mental health issues because I've never been there."

He said he sets high expectations for himself and struggles if he doesn't meet him.

"Everyone wants to do the best that they can for the people that they love, but when you can't it makes you question yourself. 'Was I a good enough brother?'"

Image: Channel 7. 

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After sharing, Jett was comforted by some of his fellow SAS recruits as he cried.

"It takes a lot to get me to cry, but I cried at Jaimi's funeral, and the night she passed away. That's my older sister, of course I'm going to miss her," he said.

At the end of the episode, Jett was brought in for interrogation with members of the course directing staff (DS), Ant Middleton and Jason Fox, where he spoke about his final goodbye with his sister.

"I remember, with my sister passing in September, we were all there sitting around the hospital bed with her, saying our last goodbyes and I just remember seeing them 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' - but unfortunately the demons got her in the end. She beat some away but 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."

Image: Channel 7. 

The DS encouraged Jett, who had earlier considered withdrawing from the course, to let go of the overwhelming pressure he put on himself to perform and use Jaimi's strength as motivation to keep going.

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As the episode ended, Jett reflected on Jaimi once more.

"Everyone knew Jaimi as the bright, bubbly person that she was but when you've got to live with mental health every single day, it's not just sunshine and rainbows. It's the dark storm and the rain that comes with it.

"That's my eldest sister. I still love her, but you can only offer so much. When it comes down to anyone with mental health, you don't really know what they're going through and you never will."

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, 24-hour support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

For help and support for eating disorders, contact the Butterfly Foundation‘s National Support line and online service on 1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673) or email [email protected] 

You can also visit their website, here.

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Feature image: Channel 7.

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