Just a few month’s ago Kerri-Anne Kennerley was told her husband John might never speak again after a life-threatening fall at a party left him paralysed.
While still partially paralysed, he is making “miracle” progress, the television favourite says, he’s even been talking despite having had a tracheotomy.
“I hesitate to use the word miracle but for us that is what John’s recovery has been like, a series of minor miracles,” Kerri-Anne told the Australian Women’s Weekly in the latest issue of the magazine.
“It started with him being able to breathe unassisted. And that was such an important step. Otherwise, he faced a life being attached to a respirator, being fed through a tube in his nose.”
It took three attempts at removing his respirator before John could breathe by himself, the 62-year-old said, describing the agonising process of trial-and-error.
“Survival is the first thing you hope for in a situation such as this and I was grateful John was alive, but if that life was to have any quality at all, he needed at least to breathe for himself,” she said.
“It was as though a great weight had lifted from our shoulders, from both John and me. That was the moment when I felt he’d really come back to me.”
Kerri-Anne thanked John's medical team on her Instagram account.
The couple, who have been together for 25 years, were at Bonville Golf Resort in early March when John lost his footing and fell backwards through a hedge and onto lawn.
It was a small fall which in an other instance might have resulted in nothing more than a touch of embarrassment, but the 75-year-old landed awkwardly, severely damaging his spine.
A month later Kerri-Anne appeared distraught in an interview with Channel 7's Sunday Night program.
Watch a snippet of the interview here. Post continues after video...
"It's just horrible. I actually don't want to get out of bed" she said told Mike Willesee.
"Intensive Care Unit are places you really never get used to."
Fortunately she won't have to spend any more time in one as six weeks ago John was moved into the Spinal Unit.
It will be another nine months before doctors can fully assess John's long-term capacity and he can't yet use his arms, but he's showing remarkable progress.
"John is eating and speaking and has reasonably good movement in his legs. He can sit in a wheelchair, which means he can go outside and sit in the sun, which is wonderful," Kerri-Anne said, adding his first words were also particularly memorable.
"He said 'I love you' which, of course, I will always treasure," she said.