Frank Lampard will return to the bedside of his seriously ill mother after admitting he has been through the hardest time of his life.
An improvement in mum Pat's condition gave Lampard the incentive to leave her Essex hospital and play in Chelsea's Champions League semi-final against Liverpool at Anfield last night.
Lampard and other members of his family have been keeping a bedside vigil ever since Pat was admitted to hospital with pneumonia just over a week ago.
The midfielder helped Chelsea to secure a 1-1 first-leg draw courtesy of an injury-time own goal from Liverpool substitute John Arne Riise.
Avram Grant's side were trailing to a 42nd-minute opener from Dirk Kuyt and had rarely looked capable of equalising until Riise's last-minute blunder gave Chelsea a slight advantage going into the return leg at Stamford Bridge next week.
But Lampard will return to his mum's side today - hoping that her condition continues to improve enough for him to play against Manchester United on Saturday.
The England international admitted that the outlook had been 'very bleak' at one stage last week and that her recent improvement was the only reason he felt able to play against the Merseysiders.
'This time last week was very bleak,' revealed Lampard. 'I won't go into details but we were getting a very bleak outlook. That was the hardest moment for me in my life.
'I am very lucky because I have a very tough mum, who is a very good person, and I think that might be what is helping her at the minute.
'Three days ago I wasn't playing in my mind. But we got some decent news on Saturday afternoon and my head came round a little bit then. I made a decision to go in training on Sunday to see how I felt.
'The manager and the club have been fantastic and have not put any pressure on me whatsoever. I just felt I could come and play and in a way the training and the playing has helped to take my mind off things, whereas last week I was in a bad situation.
'I trained yesterday and I will be honest I wasn't in the greatest of shape. I have been in better shape for games both mentally and physically but it has been a very difficult week.'
Lampard revealed he very nearly missed out on the Anfield clash.
He continued: 'Things have brightened up a little bit in the last few days but without that happening back home I wouldn't have been playing.
'It has been a positive few days from what was a very desperate situation last week.
'I know what why mum is like. My mum and dad follow me up and down the country and hopefully, all being well, my mum will come round and I know she would have had a right go at me for not playing in this game.
'That was in the back of my mind. She is stable at the minute and that gave me a bit of a clear mind to come and play but I will be back with her tomorrow.
'In terms of the game it was tough mentally but once the game started I just concentrated on the job.'