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Inside Kerri-Anne and John Kennerley's inspirational marriage: "They were the real deal"

'John worshipped Kerri-Anne and she adored him.'

By Phillip Koch
Following the heartbreaking news Kerri-Anne Kennerley's beloved husband John Kennerley has passed away, Woman's Day's Editor at Large Phillip Koch shares his personal insights into one of the nation's most celebrated couples after witnessing the magic of John and KAK firsthand for over 20 years...
"Kerri-Anne Kennerley is one of the strongest women you will ever meet, but the sudden death of the man she credits with saving her life and filling it with love has left her dazed, broken and utterly, utterly heartbroken.
I know this because I have spoken to KAK, as she is affectionately known to millions, many times about how much she and John's life changed after he suffered an accident so catastrophic that it left him a quadriplegic three years ago.
I met Kerri-Anne Kennerley about 25 years ago when I worked at The Sunday Telegraph and we've remained mates ever since. I consider her a friend and a mentor.
Kerri-Anne and John were the real deal. John worshipped Kerri-Anne and she adored him. They were rarely apart, and John remained completely smitten by Kerri-Anne until the day he died.
You could call them a celebrity couple, some would call them a power couple but really they were just a beautiful couple. If they were out at an event, John was always at Kerri Anne's side, often laughing together and the warmth and love that was so clear to everyone was a magnet to all who met them.
"Kerri-Anne was the star, but John was the rock who she relied on, he had her back always and loved everything about her," Woman's Day's Editor at Large Phillip Koch remembers of KAK's adoring husband. (Image: Getty)
Kerri-Anne was the star, but John was the rock who she relied on, he had her back always and loved everything about her. Well, perhaps not her culinary expertise or lack there-of – which is why they were often seen dining out.
He also showered with thoughtful gifts and the couple took honeymoon-like holidays every year, until his accident made it no longer possible. Kerri-Anne gave up a lot to be John's carer but I never heard her complain.
That's not to say she didn't acknowledge how different and how challenging there new life was. John required around the clock care and they spent a fortune renovating their longtime Sydney home so he could enjoy the best quality of life possible in the home they shared together until the end.
On top of learning how to do all the mundane (and in KAK's words, the frustratingly annoying) things which John took care of for so many years – the bills, the groceries, the car maintenance – KAK had to take on as much work as she could manage to pay the huge medical bills needed to keep John alive at home.
She would be the first to also admit it helped to provide some balance in their new life, a life they shared with nursing staff and carers. She became a champion for carers from all walks of life as she discovered firsthand just how difficult it was.
WATCH: Kerri-Anne's Studio 10 co-hosts pay tribute to her late husband. Post continues after the video...
The one thing she didn't do was bellyache about her new and very different life. Her motto remained always 'just get on with it, and don't waste time on the what-ifs and self-pity.'
And that's what she will eventually do. For the one thing I do know about Kerri-Anne is that she never, ever gives up. She remains one of the most inspiration people I have ever met."
John passed away surrounded by his wife and son in Sydney on Wednesday night. (Image: Getty)

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