Kate Garraway fought back tears as she recounted the last words her husband Derek Draper said to her before he was put into an induced coma as he battled coronavirus.
The Good Morning Britain presenter said while he is now testing negative for Covid-19, the illness has “wreaked extraordinary damage” on Draper and she does not know if he will recover.
Speaking to her colleagues on ITV’s GMB from her London home, she said Draper, who has been in hospital for almost 10 weeks, told her “you saved my life” the last time she spoke to him. She said she is now hoping for “one more miracle.”
She added: “The fact that he’s still here and holding on, I’m so grateful that he is still here.
“He’s very, very sick and as time goes on it’s a virus, it’s a little bit like a computer virus, the doctors manage one bit extraordinarily well and there seems to be a flicker of hope and then other things emerge and they are fighting that.
“It’s affected him from the top of his head to the tip of his toes.
“The fight with the virus has been won and he’s still here but it’s wreaked extraordinary damage on his body and we don’t know if he can recover from that.”
Garraway added that she has been told it could be a year before any progress is made and said: “(It) feels unthinkable but we are praying there will be progress before then.”
She continued: “One doctor said to me he’s the worst affected person he’s had to treat that has lived, thank God he’s lived so far.”
She described Covid-19 as “an evil, evil virus”, and added: “I don’t want to scare people, Derek’s situation is incredibly rare, the damage he’s sustained is incredibly rare.”
Garraway said she has also had coronavirus “mercifully mildly”, and continued: “It is an absolute miracle that he’s here and I keep saying I know I’ve had a miracle but if I could just have one more.”
Garraway said Draper had been feeling unwell with a painful shoulder before he was taken ill and then on March 29 she came home and he told her: “I’m struggling to breathe.”
She added: “I did whatever anyone who works at GMB does, I rang Dr Hilary (Jones).”
After doing some breathing tests, the doctor told Garraway she needed to call an ambulance.
She said: “I helped him down the stairs and put him in the ambulance and put a mask on him. He said to Darcey and Billy (their children), ‘you’re the best children anyone could ever ask for, look after Mum and be good for her’, and went into the ambulance and that was it.”
Describing the days before he was put into a coma, she said: “He was very bad, he couldn’t really speak to me, he was begging me, saying ‘I can’t stand this, I feel like I’m suffocating, I can’t take it, please let them put me in a coma’.”
Garraway said the doctors eventually put him in an induced coma on April 5 and she spoke to him beforehand, adding: “He just said, ‘I love you, I’m sorry I have to leave you’.
“I said, ‘It’s only for three or four days. You’re going to be fine, this is good, it will allow you to rest’, and he said, ‘You saved my life’ because I think he thought I persuaded the doctors to put him in the coma, and he said ‘I don’t just mean now, I mean being married to you, the children, you saved my life’, and I said ‘I love you, I love you’ and that was the last time I spoke to him.”
The TV star said she has taken huge comfort from her “amazing children”, adding her daughter Darcey has grown a vegetable patch in the garden with radishes for her father.
She said: “You take terrible uncertainty and have to find hope.”
She continued: “I’m trying to gradually carry on with life when you don’t know if life is certain.”