Kate Garraway says she feels like an “abyss” every time her husband Derek Draper temporarily regains consciousness.
The former political adviser, 53, remains in hospital after being admitted with coronavirus symptoms in March last year before falling into a coma.
TV presenter Garraway, also 53, appeared on The One Show to discuss an upcoming documentary about his family’s experiences during his illness.
She said, “Derek is an extreme case. What he’s had is what is called a persistent disturbance of consciousness, which means that there is a reaction.
“It’s not like the coma we see in movies where people are in a vegetative state. He can open his eyes and before Christmas there was great progress in words, communication and things.
“But I have the feeling that I’m kind of on a lifeboat and it’s pacing up and down. Sorry, that seems very figurative, but that’s what it feels like.
“You are on this abyss trying to hold onto it. There are moments when he gushes in the air and you are in contact, especially the moment on FaceTime due to the Covid restrictions.
“It feels like you have to fill it with so much positivity because it is going to go under. What you will see in the documentary are some of the better moments, though heartbreaking I fear where it shows up.
“Then you see what agony must be for him because he’s someone who is, both in his time, when I knew him, when he was in politics, and since all of his mental health work, because that is his thing now, his brain has always been his best friend. “
Garraway said her husband “lived on his joke” but now “struggled to get out”.
She added that his experience would have been more difficult as tough as it was during his illness.
In the documentary, Garraway talks about how her family was forced to adjust to a new way of life and meets others suffering from Covid.
ITV documentary Kate Garraway: Finding Derek will air on March 23 at 9:00 p.m.