Kate Garraway’s husband Derek Draper has said his first word since being admitted to hospital with coronavirus seven months ago.
The Good Morning Britain presenter says the former lobbyist and political adviser mouthed the word “pain” as doctors moved his body as she watched over video call.
Kate also revealed that her husband’s tracheotomy tube has been removed and he is now able to breathe without a ventilator.
Kate told The Sun: “It’s a case of trying to balance belief, hope, optimism with reality.
“But we have had a breakthrough which was both amazing yet heartbreaking.
“It happened when the nurses were moving Derek, as part of his treatment, to trigger the sensation of gravity because he’s been horizontal for so long.
“Right from the beginning, when Derek couldn’t even open his eyes, the doctors and nurses have always talked to him to be respectful, and to try to trigger a response.
“As they were shifting him, they asked if he could feel anything — not expecting a response as he hadn’t previously. But suddenly he mouthed in a whisper, ‘Pain’.
“Obviously it’s so heart-wrenching that his first word was ‘pain’, but it is a huge breakthrough because it means he has been able to connect the feeling in his body to his brain and mouth.
“They called me straight after and I burst into tears. The staff told me later that they were so emotional as well.”
Derek was admitted to hospital in March with coronavirus symptoms and placed in an induced coma.
Kate has shared regular updates on her husband’s health through social media and on Good Morning Britain.
The couple, who are both 53, married in 2005 and have a 14-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son, Darcey and William.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.