Arriving at the London Clinic earlier this week, Dwina Gibb's beaming smile said it all.
Her husband, the legendary Bee Gees star Robin Gibb, had defied the odds and regained consciousness from a 12-day coma.
The 62-year-old musician, who has colorectal cancer, had contracted pneumonia and his family were warned to prepare for the worst possible outcome.
But Northern Irish-born Dwina, an artist, writer and druid priestess, was not giving up.
With round-the-clock support from the couple's 29-year-old son Robin John, Robin's brother Barry and some of Dwina's own family who had travelled over from Co Tyrone, she maintained a vigil by his bedside, playing his favourite music in a bid to rouse him.
Miraculously, Robin finally woke up when they played the track Don't Cry Alone, which he had penned with his son for the Titanic Requiem. Speaking to reporters, a clearly delighted Dwina laughed: “He is fantastic at the moment. He is laughing, he is joking, he is really happy. He just wants to get out.”
Dwina, who married the pop-star in 1985, has been hailed as a rock throughout his illness and has been credited with giving him the strength to fight on.
But what is known of the woman who has stayed by her husband's side for almost 28 years, despite the most unconventional of marriages, and an affair on his part which resulted in a love-child with their housekeeper?
Dwina Murphy Gibb was brought up in Kilskeery near Omagh, in a strict Catholic |
family. As a child she showed great flair for art and writing, holding her first art exhibition at the tender age of 14.
The former lover of a pornographic film director, David Waterfield, she has followed various religions and proclaimed herself to be a druid priestess.
When she met Robin Gibb in London in 1980, the two kindred, artistic souls were immediately drawn to each other.
The couple married in 1985 and had one son, Robin John.
Gibb already had two children, Melissa and Spencer, from a previous marriage.
It was an unconventional relationship from the start, with talk of threesomes, cruising and extra-marital affairs. But despite their odd lifestyle, they remained bonded and in love. That bond was tested to the maximum when it emerged, in 2009, that Robin had fathered a baby girl with their live-in housekeeper, Clare Yang, a woman nearly half his age.
But Dwina remained by her husband's side and, one year later, the couple seemed more committed than ever before.
Disavowing their previous statements about their open marriage, Dwina said: “My earlier life was kind of wild, interesting and experimental, but you go past the experimental stage and start living.”
Her husband said: “It's about the relationship we have with each other now and all I can say about that is that it's rock solid and that's the most important thing to me.”
On Dwina Gibb's website there’s a quotation that reads: “When there is enthusiasm, all tiredness finishes.” It seems as though that sentiment has helped the couple take on their toughest battle yet.