Michala Banas fills in for sick Kym Valentine
Fiona Byrne and Hannah Martin, Courier Mail, 10 August 2008

HOLDING the fort... Michala Banas will fill in for Neighbours star Kym Valentine while [she] recovers from illness

Kym Valentine has been forced to pull out of the show as she struggles to recover from a collapsed lung and pneumonia.

McLeod's Daughters favourite Michala Banas will step into Valentine's role of Libby Kennedy on the long-running soap from tomorrow as Valentine takes a one-month break to regain her health.

Neighbours executive producer Susan Bower made the difficult and highly unusual decision to bring Banas in to play the character late last week.

Valentine, who has played Libby Kennedy for more than 11 years, said handing the role over to Banas was one of the hardest things she has done. "It is heartbreaking ...but I will be back," she said.

Valentine suffered a collapsed lung during a horror flight home from New York on July 4.