Kerri Anne Kennerley on Sunday Night. Photo: Seven Network Kerri Anne and husband John at home. Photo: Seven Network
TV legend Kerri-Anne Kennerley has opened up on the fall that left her husband John paralysed from the neck down, during an emotional interview on Seven’s Sunday Night.
“I hate this new life to be quite frank. I hate it. It’s just awful,” she told host Melissa Doyle.
“If I could rub Aladdin’s lamp or get a magic wand, I want my old life back and I want my husband back.
“I have my husband, we’re just different now,” she said.
In March, John Kennerley slipped off a balcony verandah at a golf resort in Coffs Harbour, landing on his head and back and fracturing his C2 and C3 vertebrae.
Sunday Night’s Mike Willesee had visited the couple in hospital just weeks after the accident, where Kennerley, mascara streaming down her face, spoke of the pain of “not being able to talk to” John.
Last night’s segment showed a more hopeful couple, buoyed by John’s recovery efforts.
The 76-year-old is now able to speak, and was shown moving his right hand just enough to pat his beloved golden retriever, Digger.
“It was only about 800 millimeteres,” he told Sunday Night, publicly discussing the fall for the first time, “but I remember coming to and realising I couldn’t feel anything.”
“I couldn’t move my arms, I couldn’t move my legs. Kerri was with me within a second, and I remember saying to her, ‘I think I’m paralysed. I can’t move.’ And soon after that I fainted.”
“I pretty well have always known that he wasn’t going to get a lot of movement,” added Kerri Anne about his recovery.
“It’s just never been possible for his level of injury. But I never discussed it with him, because miracles do happen.”
In an interview with Fairfax earlier this year, Kennerley discussed her “Christmas wish to have John home”.
The episode delved further into those efforts, showing Kennerley overseeing a range of refurbishments to make the couple’s Sydney home wheelchair accessible, including ramps, widened doorways, and a lift up to their bedroom.
A glimpse of Kerri Anne accidentally slamming John’s wheelchair into a hallway wall also teased her trademark giggles.
“I need to be a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, I have even cooked,” she laughed, while discussing the massive effort involved in now being John’s full-time carer.
“I’m starting to learn all those skills, from the slings to the medication and how to put his gloves on at night. It is pretty time consuming, and it will get more so.” CATCH-UP: “I hate this new life, it’s awful, but it’s not something we’re alone in” Kerri-Anne Kennerley #SN7https://t.co/KjtTbbypM5— sunday night (@sundaynighton7) November 13, 2016
The couple also revealed they’re looking into a groundbreaking US trial of spinal cord stimulation, with hopes to bring it to Australia.
“It’ll be what it’ll be,” Kerri Anne added.
“I’ve figured out there’s no magic wands, but there’s always hope.”