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Kate Garraway on husband Derek's first words during his long Covid battle - 'It is a huge breakthrough'

Kate Garraway spoke to Piers and Susanna of her husband Derek's first words during his long battle with coronavirus.

Over the weekend, Kate revealed that Derek had mouthed the word "pain" when doctors moved him.

Explaining the moment, Kate said: "What’s happened is that during the whole course of it all the medical teams, who have done such great care to keep him with us, have been very respectful and have always talked to him like he can hear everything, through the whole thing, as I have, as the children have, as his mum and dad have, we kept on talking to him. They said, ‘Right we are going to move your arm, we are going to move your leg’ - because obviously, that is part of the process so he doesn’t cease up, frankly. Every time they would say, ‘Let us know if there is any discomfort or any pain’.  And he very clearly mouthed the word ‘pain’.

"There wasn’t a note, it was a little bit of a whisper. Everybody who was there, and I wasn’t there at this point, couldn’t believe it and tried to get him to do it again. Later, I was watching and I saw him mouth it again," she added.

"It is a huge breakthrough although it’s obviously heart-breaking because obviously he feels pain, which we don’t want… but what it means is he has been able to connect a sensation in his body, with his brain and to connect that with his mouth to shape the word pain... So, that says a lot, doesn’t it? I’ve talked to you both before about my fears, ‘Is he in there? Is he locked in?’ I believe he is in there, I believe he’s still in there… it’s a long way from being Derek with all his many words, with multiple colours, he has uttered… it’s a long way from all of that, but it’s a start. It’s the start isn’t it?", she continued.

"This has given you, I think when you most needed it, a glimmer of hope, hasn’t it?”, Piers asked before he added that Kate was awe-inspiring in the way she had dealt with everything. 

Kate replied: “It has, it completely has. The power of hope is huge. But you are also constantly trying to think at what point do I have to start being real as well. The team that has been working with him is really pretty emotional too because it’s a tangible thing. The other thing is he’s had his tracheostomy removed. So he’s largely breathing on his own, although he’s very, very weak. So that’s also another huge physical bit of progress and what I'm hoping is that two things can emerge.

“What I have to be careful of, what I have to be careful in terms of the children and his family, is running away with that and thinking ok this is it within a couple of weeks he will be at home. Because there is a long road to go and we don't know how far down that road he can come. But it is a massive moment because it just means… I was getting scared. If it's hard for me what is it like for him, trapped in there. I was getting scared he might give up. So it feels like a fight for him, he was able to fight out of this. Again, it’s horrible because I don't want him to feel pain. So It would have been much nicer if it had been, ‘I love you darling Kate’, or something like that, ‘Say hi to the children’. But I’m trying to think of it as the first step. He’s taken that feeling within him, he’s heard someone say, ‘Let us know’ and he’s been able to bite it out and that is a sign, I'm hoping, the beginning of a recovery.”

Kate added she was “sorry to be emotional” and admitted: “The problem is here we are facing lockdown on Thursday. We are all exhausted, the whole country… but I suppose what I would say is, if you get Covid and you are unlucky to get it like someone like Derek, even though he has been virus-free for months, the potential for long term misery is huge.”

She also confessed the beloved family car, "Vicky the Volvo", had been stolen. “My car has been stolen… I know everyone has laughed about my car because it’s 20 years old… it’s had two blow-outs but it’s never broken down. I don’t feel that’s Vicky’s fault.”

The presenter said the car disappeared from outside her house but it was tricky as it was in her husband’s name and finding out information had been difficult. At first, she feared there might have been an outstanding parking ticket. “It’s a real nuisance,” she conceded.

“It was such a body blow, particularly to Billy [her son], because that’s our family car, it’s just another thing that has been grabbed away…” She said on the same day there was a flood in the bathroom that leaked in the kitchen and she thought, “Oh, for the love of God. I don’t want to complain but can we just have something go right?”

 Piers and Susanna vowed to try and help get “Vicky the Volvo” back.

Speaking about meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the Pride of Britain Awards, she revealed: “[It was] absolutely extraordinary ... how lovely. I was very impressed with them as a team, as a couple, with their knowledge of the virus.”

 She added that we now know Prince William had the virus back in April. “Again really I would say he went through that, his Dad, of course, had it and was in a very vulnerable category… when they were saying to me, ‘We really feel for you and we really feel for your children’, both William and Kate both of them separately said, ”It must be hard on them [the children]… I couldn’t help but think, ‘Here’s a man who was younger than Billy and Darcey and knew what it was like to lose a parent’...It was such an honour.”

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