Kate Garraway has revealed that her seriously-ill husband Derek Draper has said his first word since being admitted to hospital with coronavirus seven months ago.
The 53-year-old is officially the UK's longest-serving hospital patient due to COVID-19 and spent many months in a coma as his body fought off the disease.
Draper has been slowly coming out of his coma over the last few months and Garraway has now reported the bittersweet news that he has been able to mouth the word "pain" in response to nurses.
"It's a case of trying to balance belief, hope, optimism with reality," she said in an interview with The Sun. "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.
"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."
She continued: "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. That was so hard, but also amazing because I know the possible significance."
Garraway also revealed that Draper's tracheotomy tube has been removed and he is now able to breathe without support from a ventilator.