Kate Garraway has revealed the crushing warning she received from doctors over husband Derek's future after being told the next two years are crucial to his recovery.
It was back in March 2020 that former political aide Derek was hospitalised after being struck down by symptoms of Covid-19.
His condition deteriorated rapidly, with Derek placed in a medically induced coma by doctors, with Kate and the couple's children Billy and Darcy unable to see him due to lockdown restrictions.
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There was a huge step forward for the family a few months ago when Derek was allowed to come home for the first time in over a year, just as his battle was put into the primetime TV spotlight in Good Morning Britain host Kate's heart-wrenching ITV documentary Finding Derek.
Former Strictly and I'm A Celebrity contestant Kate followed the programme up with her recently released book The Power of Hope, a candid account of everything she and her family have been through this year.
And it is in the book that Kate reveals a stark prognosis on Derek's health she received from doctors.
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After telling readers Derek's case was different to anything they'd seen before, Kate explains: "‘I had already waited so long. “How long before you know more? Not how long will it take for him to recover, because you don’t know if he can even recover, but how long before you might know more?”
‘After another long pause, he (the doctor) looked straight at me, then away. “Well, Kate” – the first time he had used my name – “I think it’s fair to say if he is still like this after two years we will know there is very little chance of him making any meaningful recovery.”’
Recalling how she felt on hearing the prediction, Kate adds: "‘How could I go on like this for another two years? Worse still, how could Derek be trapped like this for two years?
"The timescale winded me and I’m sure I must have slumped a bit in the chair.’
Since Derek returned home from hospital, Kate has been buoyed by a huge positive which saw Derek remember her birthday.
Crying happy tears on Lorraine, Kate told her ITV colleague: "It's happy tears and, not to be technical about it, that is massive.
"Obviously it's wonderful that he said 'happy birthday' because that's what I want to hear but, also, we're looking for things he can hold.
"So I told him that the night before, I had to prompt him a little bit, but he held that idea that it was my birthday and then managed to connect it and repeat it back.
"Signs like that are just fantastic."