DON'T LEAVE ME NOW EDDIE; My Loving Touch Opened His Eyes for 60 Seconds and a Thin Smile Broke on His Lips
Murphy, Rachel, The Mirror (London, England)
Stricken Eddie Kidd's dark eyes flicked open and his lips curled into a thin smile.
Squeezing his hand, his wife Sarah gasped: "I'm here, Eddie. I love you so much. You've got to fight. You can't leave me now."
It was the middle of the night in the intensive care ward at Warwick Hospital, where stunt rider Eddie has been in a coma since a devastating bike crash last Sunday.
Last night, following a second scan, doctors confirmed that the 36-year-old star has brain damage. Sarah,30, said: "I don't know if he'll live or die. It's still touch and go."
But when her husband briefly smiled through his pain earlier this week Sarah was clutching at any straw to keep up her hopes.
Her heart pounding, she beamed at a nurse: "My Eddie's coming back. He's coming back to me."
Instead the nurse put a hand on her shoulder, and said softly: "I'm sorry, I've got to put him out."
Then, as Sarah looked on in dazed confusion, she administered a sedative and Eddie's eyes closed.
Yesterday, speaking for the first time since her husband's horrific crash, tearful Sarah said at a hotel close to the hospital: "He was conscious for a whole minute.
"In those 60 seconds, in my mind I had Eddie up and walking. I'm a very positive person. To me the cup is always half full, not half empty.
"I assumed it was a good sign. Then a surgeon told me I mustn't get too excited. I must calm down.
"Those 60 seconds didn't mean Eddie was getting better. In fact, it could have harmed him.
"His brain was still bleeding and swelling. When he regained consciousness, his brain was working on its own and that could have caused even more bleeding.
"I was completely devastated. It was the lowest moment of my life - worse than when I heard the news of the crash, and worse than when I first saw him lying there in a coma.
"Now we know Eddie has been brain damaged, but we won't know until Monday what that means. By then, he may start to come round and we can see what the long-term effects may be.
"I know he isn't getting any better. But at the moment, it's a relief to know he's not getting any worse."
Eddie lost control of his 500cc bike as he leapt 50ft over a speeding car and plunged down a bank at a Hell's Angel rally in Long Marston, Warwickshire. He suffered severe head and pelvic injuries.
Sarah, married to the stunt hero for four turbulent years, was on holiday in the South of France with the couple's two-year-old son, Jack, when the news came through.
With Eddie's parents, Marjorie and Eddie senior, at her side, Sarah said: "A builder we met over there heard about the crash when he got home.
"He phoned our local bar in France and just said Eddie had had an accident.
"I thought it would be the usual - a bash to his knee or something.
"So I rang the hospital, and said quite breezily: 'What's Eddie done to himself now?'" Lowering her head at the memory, she went on: "They couldn't speak to me. My stepmother had to phone back and speak to one of Eddie's sisters who said 'Don't put Sarah on a boat, put her on a plane.'
"My heart sank and I went cold all over. I knew immediately it was bad - and that meant a head injury.
"My dad flew back with me and Jack. The journey was a nightmare.
"I had Eddie dead and buried. I couldn't get it out of my mind. I'd only seen him five days before, and he was the usual Eddie bubbling about his next jump. But I couldn't picture him bubbling anymore."
The flight was delayed by 15 minutes and Sarah screamed and shouted at other passengers at being forced to wait.
She said: "I got myself in a right state. I didn't get to the hospital until 10 that night."
When Sarah saw her grievously injured husband she kissed his cheek, held his hand and told him she and Jack loved him very much. …