Kate Garraway shares heartbreaking images of her husband Derek Draper
Kate Garraway shares heartbreaking images of her husband Derek Draper, 53, fighting for his life with long Covid in hospital – a year after being admitted to ICU
- GMB host says in new documentary, ‘Derek is the sickest person the team of doctors have treated this year’
- On clip for Finding Derek, Miss Garraway speaks of fears he will not be able to return as ‘the person he was’
- Mr Draper no longer has Covid but suffers from after-effects including diabetes and holes in heart and lungs
Kate Garraway today shared heartbreaking images of her husband Derek Draper fighting for his life in hospital a year after contracting Covid.
In an upcoming ITV documentary, the Good Morning Britain presenter tells of her fears for the 53-year-old’s future as he battles long Covid from an ICU bed.
Miss Garraway, 53, says on a trailer for the programme, which will air on March 23: ‘Derek is the sickest person the team of doctors have treated this year.’
‘Is he going to be able to come back or will he be alive but no longer the person he was?’
Photos are shown from the couple’s wedding day in 2005 before the screen goes blank and a message reads: ‘One year later, Derek is still in hospital.’
Mr Draper, who is the longest surviving Covid patient in the country, no longer tests positive for the virus, but it has left him with multiple health conditions including diabetes and holes in his heart and lungs.
He is one of 186,000 long Covid patients in Britain who suffer a range of symptoms from fatigue and aches to serious organ damage. He has also lost 8st over the course of his ordeal.
Miss Garraway has given emotional on-screen updates on her husband’s Covid battle over the course of the last year, and has taken some time off work to go and visit him.
In the first clip of a new ITV documentary, Finding Derek, Kate Garraway, 53, says: ‘Derek is the sickest person the team of doctors have treated this year’
Mr Draper, who is the longest surviving Covid patient in the country, no longer tests positive for the virus, but it has left him with multiple health conditions including diabetes and holes in his heart and lungs
Miss Garraway recently admitted she fears what her husband’s life will be like if he is able to leave hospital.
She said Mr Draper’s current state is something from a ‘horror story,’ as she tries to come to terms with the possibility that his health battle could leave him suspended between life and death.
She said to The Sunday Times: ‘The very worst moment was when they said he could be locked in forever. And I just thought, this is a horror story.
‘I don’t know if he’ll ever have any kind of life again. We just don’t know.’
Mr Draper, a former adviser to the Labour Party, was admitted to hospital in March after contracting Covid-19 and placed into a medically induced coma a month later before he awoke in July.
The virus caused havoc throughout his entire body, resulting in kidney failure, liver and pancreatic damage.
Miss Garraway with former Labour adviser Mr Draper in ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’ on December 8, 2019
Photos are shown from the couple’s wedding day in 2005 before the screen goes blank and a message reads: ‘One year later, Derek is still in hospital’
Miss Garraway has given emotional updates on her husband’s Covid battle over the course of the last year, and has taken some time off air to go and visit him. They are pictured on their wedding day
Derek Draper’s battle that has made him the longest surviving Covid patient in the country
Miss Garraway revealed she and Prince Charles had got ‘relatively close’ at the Prince’s Trust Awards on March 11 – Charles was diagnosed with coronavirus in mid-March.
She said: ‘Around the 29/30 March, I came home came in and said [to Derek] ‘god you look ill.’
‘He said he had a headache, numbness in his right hand, and was struggling to breathe,
‘I rang Dr Hilary (Jones) and tried to get through, he talked to Derek. He said put me back on, I think you need to call an ambulance’
Mr Draper, 52, was taken into hospital on March 30 and remained in an unresponsive condition.
Mr Draper is put into an induced coma. Miss Garraway and her children isolated at home after she displayed ‘mild symptoms’.
She said: ‘Derek remains in intensive care and is still very ill. I’m afraid it remains an excruciatingly worrying time.
‘I’m afraid he is still in a deeply critical condition, but he is still here, which means there is hope.’
Miss Garraway said: ‘The journey for me and my family seems to be far from over as every day my heart sinks as I learn new and devastating ways this virus has more battles for Derek to fight.
‘But he is still HERE & so there is still hope.’
That month, Miss Garraway and her family took part in the final clap for carers
She said: ‘I’ll never give up on that because Derek’s the love of my life but at the same time I have absolute uncertainty’
On June 5, Miss Garraway revealed her husband is now free from coronavirus but continues to fight against the damage inflicted on his body
On July 5, Miss Garraway revealed Mr Draper has woken from his coma but he remains in a serious yet critical condition.
On July 8, she announced she would be returning to GMB, after being urged by doctors to ‘get on with life’ during Mr Draper’s recovery.
She added that Mr Draper had ‘opened his eyes’ after waking from his coma, but has been told his recovery could take years.
On July 13, Miss Garraway returned to GMB for the first time since her husband was hospitalised.
On July 28, She revealed she’d paid an ‘extra emotional’ first visit to her husband, and admitted she’s ‘frustrated’ by his slow progress.
On August 14, Miss Garraway reassured GMB viewers that Mr Draper was ‘still with us,’ but it was ‘a waiting game.’
On August 19, She revealed she celebrated Mr Draper’s birthday with their two children, and described the day as ‘challenging’ for her family.
At the end of September, Mr Draper reportedly becomes the longest surviving patient with coronavirus after spending 184 days in and out of intensive care.
Miss Garraway reveals her husband has lost eight stone during his battle.
The presenter announces she is returning to her Smooth Radio show so Mr Draper can hear her voice.
On October 30 Miss Garraway reveals that Mr Draper has spoken for the first time in seven months, saying the word ‘pain’ to his wife, who watched on ‘in tears’ over FaceTime.
She says a day later that her husband no longer needs a ventilator to breathe.
Miss Garraway reveals her family car has been stolen in latest ‘body blow’ to her family life, as kind-hearted fans offer their cars to help.
She says she feels ‘physically sick’ at the prospect of facing her first Christmas without her husband.
The GMB star tells viewers it is her dream to visit Mr Draper on Christmas Day.
She also reveals she missed two weeks on GMB after her children were exposed to the virus, but thankfully she and the kids tested negative.
On December 17, Miss Garraway has an emotional conversation live on GMB with two nurses who treated her husband when he was first admitted to Whittington Hospital in North London.
On New Year’s Eve she reflects on a ‘calamitous’ Christmas without Mr Draper, as her house was flooded and she struggled to get a food delivery slot until her pal Emma Willis stepped in to help.
Miss Garraway reveals she and her children got to visit Mr Draper in hospital over the Christmas period, and it was the first time her family had seen him since he was hospitalised.
She also says she’s banned from seeing him due to new restrictions introduced during the government’s third lockdown.
Miss Garraway reveals she is unsure how much her husband will ‘ever be able to recover’ following warning from doctors that he may never wake from his coma.
Miss Garraway tells the Sunday Times that Mr Draper’s current state is something from a ‘horror story,’ as she tries to come to terms with the possibility that his health battle could leave him suspended between life and death.
On March 16, a trailer is released from a new documentary, Finding Derek, in which Miss Garraway will tell of his struggle.
On more than one occasion his heart stopped beating, he battled bacterial pneumonia and fought multiple infections which punctured holes in his lungs.
Miss Garraway- who shares children Darcey, 15, and William, 11, with her husband of fifteen years – admitted it is ‘shocking’ to see his current state, including his dramatic eight stone weight loss.
She revealed that on multiple occasions the hospital told her: ‘Prepare yourself, he’s going to die.’
During one incident, the TV presenter was told ‘he may have died’ and that ‘somebody will call you back,’ as she spent countless hours calling the hospital to get an answer, to no avail.
She eventually got through and discovered someone of a similar name had passed away.
But the worst was yet to come as Miss Garraway had to learn to accept the possibility that Mr Draper could be frozen indefinitely between life and death.
‘They said, ‘It’s highly unlikely he will make a good recovery,’ she recalled the comment from doctors while they confirmed they couldn’t rule out a ‘reasonable recovery.’
When she asked what that would look like, the mother-of-two was told that being able to lift a hairbrush would be an example of a ‘reasonable recovery’.
Trying to make sense of her husband’s current condition, Miss Garraway said it appears he is in an ‘ocean of unconsciousness,’ and only manages to rise to the top for air on rare occasions.
However she did note some tentative progress with her husband during the Christmas period. As she pretended to forget her accountant’s name, Mr Draper was able to fill in the blank and vocalise the name.
He also heartbreakingly mouthed the word ‘pain’ in October.
By the end of last year, he had had reportedly made some small steps towards recovery.
He was able to breathe naturally throughout the day and was able to swallow his own saliva – despite still being fed by a tube through his stomach.
Mr Draper no longer required kidney dialysis and had managed to increase his movement on one side, allowing him to move his glasses on his nose.
He was even able to recognise some faces and add snippets to conversation before sinking back into the deep waters of his unconscious mind.
She is still not allowed to visit her husband due to coronavirus restrictions.
Miss Garraway said she tried to keep his hopes up by promising things would improve, but tragically his only response was: ‘How?’
When Boris Johnson enforced a new lockdown in December, Miss Garraway wasn’t able to see her husband at all, as she revealed his health worsened ‘dramatically,’ counteracting the progress they had made.
‘I have tried to sort of wake up from that and think about the future,’ Miss Garraway added. ‘But nobody can tell you what the future is.’
Finding Derek will air on 23rd March, and will show Miss Garraway giving an ‘unflinching account’ on the past 12 months.
In the special one-off film, she will offer an ‘intimate insight’ into coping with the impact of Covid-19 on her family, as well as meeting survivors of the disease.
ITV said in a statement: ‘Kate offers an unflinching account of the profound effects on her family and on others as she opens up on camera for the first time on the reality of the past 12 months.
‘As Kate lays bare in the film, her family, along with many others who have suffered the effects of the virus, is now facing the reality of adjusting to a very different way of life to the one they lived before the pandemic hit.’
During one of her darkest moments Miss Garraway was told her husband may ‘never come out of a coma’ amid his ongoing battle.
Mr Draper has regained minimal consciousness from his medically induced coma and while he has not been speaking, he heartbreakingly mouthed the word ‘pain’ in October last year.
Last week, the Smooth presenter shared her heartache about not being able to visit her husband due to coronavirus restrictions.
She said to her co-host Ben Shepherd: ‘Well, I haven’t been able to see him, Ben. I haven’t seen him since Christmas, which of course means he’s back into a situation where he’s looking at strangers in masks…
‘And I think that’s the situation for everybody, they’ve got somebody in the hospital at the moment, it’s not unique. It’s tough…
‘It’s also the same for people in care homes. And when you’re someone like him who is dealing with a consciousness problem and trying to emerge, I can’t help but fear it’s not helpful.’
In September, Mr Draper, passed the grim milestone of becoming the longest patient battling coronavirus in hospital in the UK, with doctors telling Miss Garraway that his infection was the ‘highest they had seen in a patient who had lived’.
Reflecting on her last hospital visit with their children in December, Miss Garraway admitted the family reunion was ‘heightened with emotion’ because they saw how Mr Draper had been ravaged by the virus.
‘It was very heightened with emotion, because he’s very changed,’ she told viewers.
‘So all the routines that we’d normally do, it was one of those moments that it was so wonderful but also it amplified how sad everything was.
‘And how different it is. But it was still fantastic, and we’re very grateful to have had that opportunity.’
Miss Garraway has also spoken about how she is coping with looking after her and Mr Draper’s two children, Darcey, 14 and William, 11, while he remains in hospital.
She told Good Housekeeping: ‘I’m not sure I am coping! I honestly don’t know how single mums do it; it’s just so hard.
‘A lot of the time I find myself thinking, ‘What would Derek say?’ and ‘What would Derek do?’
‘I’m lucky that I’m being supported by lots of friends, too, and Ranvir [Singh] has been really helpful because she’s been operating as a single mum since her son, Tushaan, was very little.
‘I asked her, How do you do it?’ and she said, ‘You just have to accept that you can’t do everything.’
Miss Garraway – who shares Darcey, 15, and William, 11, (pictured in 2019) with her husband of 15 years – admitted it is ‘shocking’ to see his current state, including his eight stone weight loss
Miss Garraway wiped away tears as she took part in a nationwide applause in honour of the NHS key workers in May while her husband fought Covid in hospital
What is long Covid? How virus can damage organs and cause dangerous complications
Most coronavirus patients will recover within a fortnight, suffering a fever, cough and losing their sense of smell or taste for several days.
However, evidence is beginning to show that the tell-tale symptoms of the virus can persist for weeks on end in ‘long haulers’ — the term for patients plagued by lasting complications.
Data from the COVID Symptom Study app, by King’s College London and health company Zoe, suggests one in ten people may still have symptoms after three weeks, and some may suffer for months.
Long term symptoms include:
- Chronic tiredness
- Raised heart rate
- Loss of taste/smell
- Kidney disease
- Mobility issues
- Muscle pains
For those with more severe disease, Italian researchers who tracked 143 people who had been hospitalised with the disease found almost 90 per cent still had symptoms including fatigue two months after first falling unwell.
The most common complaints were fatigue, a shortness of breath and joint pain – all of which were reported during their battle with the illness.
Another study in Italy showed one in ten people who lose their sense of taste and smell with the coronavirus – now recognised as a key sign of the infection – may not get it back within a month.
In the most serious cases, like Mr Draper’s, Covid can damage organs and cause conditions such as diabetes, or holes in the heart and lungs.
The UK’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty has said the longer term impacts of Covid-19 on health ‘may be significant’.
Support groups such as Long Covid have popped up online for those who ‘have suspected Covid-19 and your experience doesn’t follow the textbook symptoms or recovery time’.
Miss Garraway recently spoke about how Piers Morgan had helped her during her husband’s battle with long Covid.
Mr Morgan, who helped transform the once struggling breakfast show into a ratings juggernaut, quit his role following backlash over his negative response to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s explosive CBS interview.
Describing him on GMB, Miss Garraway said: ‘He is very passionate.
‘He does fly kites and have debates but it always comes from a place of authenticity and he always believes in what he says.
‘He’s decided to quit and as he put it himself, fall on the sword of free speech.
‘But as you rightly say, I’ve known him a long time, before he started working on this programme.
‘Our friendship will go on, our personal friendship, and he’s been very supportive of me personally.
‘But yeah, it’s a different show, isn’t it? But the show goes on.’
Piers made the decision to walk away from Good Morning Britain shortly after storming off set during a heated argument with weatherman Alex Beresford over his condemnation of Meghan.
Although Mr Draper’s long Covid is particularly serious, one in 10 people who have had the virus suffer some lingering symptoms afterwards, a recent study found.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) analysed more than 300 scientific papers from around the world as part of its second review into ‘Long Covid’.
It found around 10 per cent of survivors continue to suffer from symptoms at least three months after clearing the disease.
The most common issue was fatigue, followed by breathlessness and ‘brain fog’, but more serious symptoms included organ damage, anxiety and depression.
The review found the more severe the initial illness was, the more likely patients were to suffer from Long Covid.
For example, 60 to 90 per cent of people who were hospitalised with Covid experienced lingering symptoms two months later.
But the NIHR said a ‘lack of consistency around the definition and measurement of Long Covid’ makes it difficult to pin down exactly what the condition is.
It added: ‘The review finds that there is a considerable variation in the range of symptoms that have been considered Long Covid by researchers.
‘Used as an umbrella term, Long Covid may cover conditions which may have different causes.’
The NIHR said it believes Long Covid may include up to four different syndromes, with different underlying causes and treatment needs.
Kate Garraway: Finding Derek airs March 23 ITV 9pm.
There were also 64 Covid deaths recorded today, which is down 1.5 per cent on the same time last week
Britain’s Covid cases have risen eight per cent compared to the same time last week after 5,089 were recorded. It is thought this is linked to mass swabbing in schools, which is picking up more cases. The test positivity rate – a more reliable measure – is still falling in all regions
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