By Tony Winterburn • 30 October 2020 • 23:06
Kate Garraway has revealed that her husband Derek Draper has spoken his first word since his coronavirus battle began 214 days ago.
The Good Morning Britain presenter was watching via a video call from home over FaceTime as doctors tended to Derek in the hospital when he mouthed the word “pain”. It was the first word Derek, 53, has uttered since March. Kate said: “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.”
Kate went on to say: “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’.
She added: “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. It breaks my heart that there may have been times that he’s been in terrible pain and wasn’t able to communicate it. But he’s said it twice now and I was there for the second one, watching him over FaceTime.
Derek’s tracheotomy tube has now been removed and he is now able to breathe without a ventilator, although sadly, it seems Derek is still in a lot of pain.
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