Kate Garraway has said she was frightened that her husband – who has been in hospital since March – could be “giving up” before he mouthed the word “pain”.
Derek Draper, 53, was placed in an induced coma after being admitted to hospital with coronavirus.
Garraway, also 53, told Good Morning Britain she is trying to “keep myself very much in check” after her husband gave her a glimmer of hope.
“It is a huge breakthrough. Even though it’s obviously heart-breaking … that he feels pain,” she said.
“What it means is that he has been able to connect a sensation in his body with his brain and connect that with his mouth to shape the word ‘pain’.”
She added: “I believe he is in there”, but it is “a long way from being Derek with all his multiple words of many colours”.
The emotional presenter said family and hospital staff always communicated with Draper in hospital.
“They kept on talking to him and they would say ‘We’re just going to move your arm … your leg’ … and every time they said ‘Let us know if you have any discomfort or have any pain’,” she said of the medical staff.
“They did this and he very clearly mouthed the word (pain) … It was a little bit of a whisper. Everyone stopped and couldn’t believe it.
“Later, I was watching and I saw him mouth it again.”
Garraway said that before the sign of progress “I was getting scared … I thought ‘If it’s hard for me, what is it like for him trapped in there?’
“I was getting scared whether he might be giving up.
“And so, it feels like a fight for him. He’s been able to fight out of this to utter the word ‘pain’.
“But I’m trying to think of it as the first step, that’s he’s taken that feeling within him, he’s heard someone say ‘Let us know’ and … that is a sign, I’m hoping, of the beginning of the recovery. ”
Later, she told ITV show Lorraine that Draper had changed in appearance.
“He does look so different now,” she said. He has dropped “eight stone and is very weak and has also lost quite a lot of hair”.
But Garraway added: “I think that’s probably the least of his worries.”
And she told Good Morning Britain that her family car “Vicky the Volvo” was stolen from outside her home.
“It was such a body blow, particularly to (son) Billy because that’s our family car. It’s just another thing that has been grabbed away,” Garraway said.
Meanwhile, Good Morning Britain co-presenter Piers Morgan said his parents recently caught coronavirus.
“My parents are both in their mid to late 70s and got it two weeks ago from someone in a family bubble, but someone who had to go out and was very sensible but got the virus.
“And then, bang, it was like dominoes.
“They had one lunch together and within three days both my mum and dad had Covid-19. It’s been a long two weeks for our family.
“It’s long for us because we can’t get in there, but incredibly long for my parents or for anyone that goes through this.”