Kate Garraway says continuing to work has kept her 'sane'
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Kate Garraway’s other half Derek Draper, 53, had spoken out on how upset his youngest son Billy had been about starting a new primary school, just weeks before he was rushed to hospital after suffering breathing difficulties, which later was diagnosed as coronavirus. The former Labour advisor had said it was heartbreaking to see Billy so upset over making the adjustment to a different classroom, however, Derek had no idea what was around the corner for his family at the time.
It’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to us
Derek first contracted the deadly COVID-19 virus last March, shortly after the UK had entered its first lockdown.
Journalist Decca Aikenhead had been to Kate’s to enjoy a Sunday roast at the beginning of last year when Derek began to talk about Billy’s struggles at school.
Derek had told Decca: “I’d have to say,” the then 52-year-old reflected, “it is the worst thing that has ever happened to us”.
Only 11 weeks later, on March 30, Derek was admitted to intensive care and placed in an induced coma on a ventilator.
“It’s only for three or four days,” Kate reassured him at the time. “You’re going to be fine.”
12 months later, her husband is still in intensive care fighting to recover from the virus.
The doctors still don’t understand why Covid has had such a devastating impact on Derek, and cannot give any certainty on his long term recovery.
A documentary following Kate and her children – Billy, 11, and 14-year-old Darcey’s struggles over the past year is set to air on ITV tonight.
Kate reflected on what it was like during the early months of Derek’s health battle in an interview with The Sunday Times.
Recalling her neighbours enjoying summer barbecues, the GMB star explained she would be “just sitting on the phone waiting to know if he had died or not”.
Kate added that on one occasion, she was actually told Derek “may have died” and somebody would “call her back”.
Kate said that for 24 hours, she tried desperately to get through on the phone, but to no avail.
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Finally, she received the news that thankfully her husband was still alive.
“Then it turned out that somebody had died who had a similar name to his,” she said.
Kate was also informed that there was a possibility her husband could “make a reasonable recovery” but that it was unlikely he would ever return to his former healthy self.
She continued: “It was so chilling. They said, ‘It’s highly unlikely he will make a good recovery. But we can’t rule out that he’ll make a reasonable recovery’.”
“I said, ‘OK, what does a reasonable recovery look like?” And they said, ‘Being able to hold a hairbrush.’”
Kate has been working tirelessly to look after Billy and Darcey while fulfilling work commitments during this tough time.
However, ITV bosses allowed the Good Morning Britain presenter to take some time away from the show to recuperate at home earlier in the year.
She revealed on GMB: “ITV gave me time off as I hadn’t been feeling well. The chickens came home to roost after a long year, and I just took some holiday at home.”
Kate Garraway: Finding Derek airs on ITV 1 tonight at 9pm.
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