KATE Garraway has insisted that she "hasn't been strong" through husband Derek's coronavirus battle – adding that "folding wasn't an option".
The 53-year-old star opened up about her family's ordeal on This Morning today, with Derek finally returning home from hospital earlier this month after more than a year in intensive care.
Holly Willoughby kicked off the interview by praising the Good Morning Britain presenter's "strength and hope", but Kate remained humble in her response.
She argued: "You're very sweet to say that, but I don't think I have been particularly strong; I have been supported incredibly by lots and lots of people.
"It's strange as people say to me: 'How do you keep going?' and I'm not sure what the alternative to keeping going is.
"Folding is something that doesn't feel like an option… Although in quiet moments there have been tears and moments of thinking: 'This is unsustainable, I can't do it.'"
The mother-of-two went on to praise the "incredible" medical staff who cared for Derek and kept hope alive for everyone – even when coronavirus was still relatively new and they were "fighting a war against an unknown enemy".
Later in the interview, Kate made the bombshell confession that her concerned 15-year-old daughter Darcey asked her if she was going to kill herself.
The teen was understandably worried about how her mum was coping with Derek's ordeal, with Kate sharing: "Darcey at one point actually said, 'Mum are you going to kill yourself?' out of the blue."
Holly and Phil gasped in shock, with Kate going on: "That sounds horrific, but if you know Darcey she's really blunt and she'll always go to the most awful thing you can imagine and work her way back.
"She just came out with this sentence and I said, 'Oh my god, no, why would you think that?!'
"She said she wasn't, but 'I just thought I better check'. I said, 'No, if anything it's the absolute opposite – I'm so scared you thought of that.'
"She said, 'Don't make a big thing of it'."
Phil replied: "If anything, that's the most brutal way of asking, 'Are you okay?'"
Kate agreed, adding: "And it made me realise she's not just thinking of her dad, but also me and her brother."
Darcey is Derek and Kate's oldest child, with the two also mum and dad to 11-year-old Billy.
The TV favourite has repeatedly heaped praise on her children for how strong they have been throughout Derek's ordeal, with their dad rushed to hospital last March with coronavirus.
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It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
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If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
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- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
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- Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm
He remained in intensive care for over a year, his body "ravaged" by the deadly illness, but was able to return home earlier this month – although he still needs 24-hour medical care.
Elsewhere, Kate said Derek still has "a long way to go", but she is thrilled that he can remember "lots of little details" – having initially been scared that the family could end up being like strangers to him.
She went on: "Now there are things he does which are miraculous, but physically he's very changed – everything has to be done for him and we have a very different life."
Derek was the UK's longest-surviving coronavirus in-patient, spending more than a year in intensive care after contracting the illness.
Contact the Samaritans
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article contact The Samaritans on 116 123. They are available for free at anytime.
Or email https://www.samaritans.org/
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