KATE Garraway has recalled the heartbreaking moment husband Derek Draper broke down in tears when she reminded him of one of their dates.
The Good Morning Britain star said the breakthrough came shortly after the coronavirus victim said his first word which was "pain", while being moved in bed by nurses.
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"Yes, just saying 'pain' was a long way from the caring, sensitive, clever husband and father Derek had been before Covid, but it was a start. And I was convinced that this was what he would want me to think, too," Kate explains in her new book The Power Of Hope, serialised in Daily Mail.
"I thought I had seen a flicker of that sometimes on our video calls, particularly when the children were talking to him and he almost seemed to be smiling, a strange crooked smile. The children were convinced it was there.
"Then one day on FaceTime I was talking at him – looking straight into his eyes.
"It's an odd thing, isn't it, video contact? Many of us have experienced it with Zoom calls for work. In normal communication, you aren't constantly staring. You're looking down at your notes in a meeting or at your food if you are sharing a meal, or you're looking around you. Not staring hard into people's eyes.
"At home, Derek and I wouldn't stare at each other all the time. We were busy doing other things – eating, loading the dishwasher, lying in bed chatting – not locked into that hard stare. And as I chatted to him, it reminded me of one of our early dates, when he had forced me to dance to Aerosmith's I Don't Want To Miss A Thing, and I had squirmed and tried to release myself from his gaze.
"As I stared into that iPad screen I said to him: 'This reminds me of that date – do you remember it? When you forced me to stare into your eyes. I kept trying to look away but you wouldn't let me.'
:I carried on chatting about it, then asked him directly: 'Do you remember?' And his face started to crumple and contort in a strange way. 'Don't worry!' I said, 'it doesn't matter if you don't.'
"I was concerned I was distressing him. But his face continued to crumple and I suddenly realised he was crying – actual tears streaming down his cheeks.
"'Do you remember?' I asked again. To which he nodded. He actually nodded! 'You do! You do!' I yelped.
"'Yes,' he mouthed. 'Yes… yes.' Then, to top it off, 'Of course,' as clear as a bell. He was in there! He knew me!"
Kate said what she saw felt like a miracle and she told Derek all was going to be OK.
She said: "He sobbed and sobbed. 'I'm going to save you,' I said. 'I'm going to get you out, I promise.'"
She went on: "He stared at me. Now he was going, slipping back into unconsciousness. But he had come up from that deep ocean, just for a moment, so I knew it could happen again."
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