Aimée Pistorius has been an unmovable pillar of strength for her brother throughout his much-publicised murder trial, but there are some who fear that her instinctive role as his carer will eventually take its emotional toll.
According to You magazine, Aimée has been given leave from her job as a business analyst at a banking corporation, while she goes through the daily strife of supporting her brother in the North Gauteng High Court, a daunting task that's forced her to put her own life on hold.
The 24-year-old currently lives with her aunt Lois and uncle Arnold in their house, with her murder-accused brother not far away in a cottage on the same Waterkloof property.
And those close to Aimée say she spends all her time making sure her older brother is taken care of, willing to drop anything to be there if he needs her.
"She'll cook for Oscar, ensure he has food in his house, make sure his laundry is washed and that his clothes are ready for him every day," a friend told the publication.
"He calls her at night and says 'Come to me'."
But clinical psychologist Leonard Carr says Aimée needs a support structure of her own to cope with this tough period in her life.
Speaking to the publication, Carr compared the loyal sister's current situation to that of most caregivers, who sacrifice their entire life to look after someone else.
Equating the Pretoria court room to the hospital that so often becomes the second home of many a caregiver, Carr said: "This is very stressful and disorienting. Even the smallest action such as going to the bathroom or getting a snack becomes a challenge. Suddenly you're in a world in which you're a stranger."
And, as 27-year-old Oscar's younger sibling, it's simultaneous also details about her own personal life that the entire world has been privy to.
"Everything that's happening to Oscar is also happening to her in a way," Carr added.
"Her entire narrative - her family history, her mother who died, the absence of her father - is now being played out in the public eye.
"Aimée has empathy with her brother's pain but she's also experiencing fear about how it will end and the loss of the glory and status the family once held.
"It's like walking around naked - no matter what you do you just can't cover yourself.
"She risks becoming physically or emotionally sick. It doesn't matter how difficult it may be, she'll have to pull back if it gets too much for her.
"She should build a network of people who can give her support. Caregivers don't want to be questioned constantly how things are going. They need people who won't drain them further - they need people who'll offer support by having a plate of food ready when they get home or just leaving an encouraging voicemail."
Carr says, though, that Aimée's support system should not comprise members of her family, as they are all suffering the same emotional fate.
"A family is like a little ecosystem with limited resources," he explained.
"In times of crisis all energy is directed at it until the crisis is over."
Credit image: Gallo images