Almost a year ago, Kate Garraway's husband Derek Draper was placed into an induced coma on a ventilator after contracting coronavirus – and 12 months on he remains in hospital in intensive care.
Speaking to The Sunday Times Magazine, the TV presenter, 53, has revealed how she's had to endure “months and months of horror, of live-or-die phone calls” while having no idea if her other half will ever recover.
The heartbreaking situation has become even more "complicated" because Draper, a 53-year-old former political adviser, never appointed a power of attorney.
This has seen his wife slip into a legal nightmare, after realising she was not permitted to view his medical notes or take control of his bank accounts, nor have access to their joint savings or refinance the mortgage.
Recalling a discussion with Draper several years before he contracted COVID, Garraway said: "We had a whole conversation and Derek said we have to appoint power of attorney in case anything happens.
"He said I’d be his. And I’m sure I made some kind of joke, saying, ‘Well, you’re not being mine.’ And we were laughing and having all these sorts of jokes.
"So I know we’ve had that conversation. But it isn’t logged anywhere. Or if it is, I can’t find it.”
Last year, when she needed to replace the family's mobile phones, Garraway said she had to pay £900 for a service that would have been free had Draper, the account holder, been able to sign.
Garraway, who describes herself as a "de facto single parent", is now waiting on a legal judgement about whether Draper remains in a coma, after technically coming out of it last June, but not regaining consciousness.
Of his current condition – which includes holes in his lungs and 8st weight loss – she explained: "Is he in a position to make a decision or not? Before Christmas, I felt like he did understand.
"But now I feel like he’s slipped back and I don’t really know what he believes, or feels.”
She met Draper in 2004, before they married the following year; they share two children, Darcey, 15, and William, 11.