Kate Garraway relives the 'white ball of shock' when she first saw 'unrecognisable' Derek in hospital

KATE Garraway has described being struck by a "white ball of shock" when she first saw her "unrecognisable" Derek Draper in hospital during his coronavirus battle.

Her husband's appearance had drastically changed after months of being on a ventilator and in a form of coma.

As well as his lungs, heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas being ravaged by the virus, Derek had lost eight stone leaving his body half its size.

The 53-year-old Good Morning Britain star explained: "Even now it remains hard to describe how I felt when I saw him. It was like a white ball of shock so bright you want to put your hand up to your eyes to protect them.

"My husband was unrecognisable. Legs like sticks, thinner than I'd thought his previously big frame could make possible. His arms too – how could muscle, flesh and fat become so small? Even his bones should be bigger than that, surely?

"His lungs heaved, mechanically wrenching in and out in an unnatural, desperate way. His eyes stared straight up as he lay on the bed, which I was grateful for as I didn't want him to see my reaction."

Kate said she approached Derek and spoke to him, but he "stared blankly" and didn't respond.

"I said. 'I'm here. I'm always here. You're safe in a hospital where they're going to get you better.'

"I was almost shouting, as if turning up the volume would somehow bridge the divide.

"I looked deep into his eyes and said: 'I know you can't respond, but I know you're in there. I know you love us and we all love you. I am going to get you out.'

"His eyes were fixed on me, but with no movement in the surrounding muscles they looked blank."

Kate, who was on her own due to Covid restrictions in hospitals, was only given a few minutes to see Derek.

She said she had no memory of leaving the hospital or getting into the taxi home and couldn't face speaking to Derek's mum or her parents who were desperately calling for news.

She explained in new book The Power Of Hope, serialised in Daily Mail: "I was sobbing uncontrollably – sobbing and shaking.

"I got out two streets from home to gather myself. I couldn't let the children see me like this. I carried on walking, then called my friend Rob Rinder, known to his fans as Judge Rinder. I poured out my misery, sitting on the kerb, sobbing into the gutter.

"'Right, stop thinking,' said Rob. 'And that's an order. You're in medical shock. There's nothing you can do right now but sleep. Go home, close your eyes and sleep. That is your one task.'

"The simplicity seemed to work. Making it a medical problem that I couldn't fix, rather than my failure to cope, somehow shifted things."

Kate also revealed the harrowing moment their 15-year-old daughter Darcey asked her if she was going to kill herself because she was "so sad all the time".

She replied: "No, absolutely not, Darcey. It couldn't be any more the opposite of that. I've never wanted to live more."

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