A mum-of-eight who became notorious for being one of Britain’s biggest benefit scroungers is being cared for by her children as she battles Covid-19.
Marie Buchan, 39, has been forced to lock herself in her bedroom while her kids, aged six to 18, fend for themselves.
Her oldest daughter, 18, is also self-isolating as the family are holed up in their four-bedroom home.
Marie, 39, has also told how she has been suffering heavy nose bleeds as well as losing her sense of taste and smell.
The former lap-dancer reportedly receives £500 in benefits every week to run her household – about £26,000 a year.
The single mum said her children have been unable to attend online classes because they don’t have a laptop and she can’t afford one.
Speaking from her home in Weoley Castle, Birmingham, she said: “The situation is a complete nightmare.
“I feel absolutely awful.
“I started getting a sore throat and was breathless last Saturday but I didn’t think it was
Covid at first.
“As a precaution I rang my doctor who advised me to get a test which I did on the Monday and it came back positive.
“Since then I’ve been isolating in my bedroom upstairs. Over the last few days I have gradually got worse and worse.
“As well as the sore throat and breathlessness I’ve had awful coughing fits but also had several nose bleeds.
“My eldest daughter Tia is 18 but she’s also self-isolating after getting symptoms.
“My children are downstairs and it’s horrible because I can hear the youngest one crying for me but I just can’t risk any of them catching it so I have to stay in my bedroom.
“The older children have really stepped up and I’m so proud of them.
“They’ve been helping with everything with the house and the younger ones.
“They bring me food upstairs and leave it outside my door.
“The doctors have told me to isolate for ten days but that could be another ten days if I still have symptoms.
“I have been speaking to track and trace a lot about my situation and I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember everyone I’ve been in contact with.”
Marie – nicknamed ‘Octomum’ – lives with Tia, 18, Leah, 17, Latoya, 15, Joshua, 14, Alisha, 12, Mikayla, 11, Amelia, eight, and seven-year-old Olivia.
The younger children were eligible to continue going to school but have been sent home while Marie self-isolates.
She added: “It is just impossible to carry out home schooling.
“The school has rung for me but I’m not in a position to teach my kids. It’s just an absolute nightmare at the moment.”
Her illness comes after Marie, who is a trained mechanic, was warned by police for taking her kids out for a walk during the first lockdown.
Supermarket staff also banned her from entering a shop with four of her children and suggested they wait in the car but she refused.
Marie hit the headlines when she appeared on TV on the Channel 5 show Benefits Britain: Life On The Dole.
On the show she claimed to work 21-hour days looking after her kids and had to rely on benefits to stay afloat.
But Marie has caused controversy by appearing to use her state handouts to fund her lifestyle.
Last year she saved up for a boob job through car boot sales and part-time work to cover the boob op rather than dip in to her benefits.
Before Christmas, she came under fire again after she planned to jet off to Spain because she “needed a break”.