Kate Garraway's husband Derek Draper returns home to continue his recovery

Derek has been hospitalised for more than a year

Kate Garraway's husband Derek Draper has returned to the family's North London home after more than a year in hospital.

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The 53-year-old arrived at the property he shares with his wife Kate and his two children, Darcey, 15, and Billy, 11, on Wednesday by ambulance.

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WATCH: Billy and Darcey open up about their dad in Kate Garraway documentary

Speaking about the happy update on Friday's Good Morning Britain, Ranvir Singh said: "Anybody who has someone in a vulnerable state and has not been able to see them to give them your personal love, your personal attention, for them to hear your voice, haven't been able to touch them, will know.

"For somebody in recovery, not just survival mode, everyone in the medical world around them have said that Derek not having contact with Kate was having an effect on him. Medicine is one thing, but the psychology, the mind...there is a magic in the family that you can't replicate in a medical setting, no matter how much you can try." 

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She continued: "It's about that contact, hearing your children. That can have an enormous affect on somebody's recovery. It is wonderful, what a wonderful moment."

Ben Shepherd added: "We are all smiling this morning. Living at home with Kate means an awful lot to us and it's lovely when we see the messages about how excited and pleased you are. It is the first step on a very long journey trying to work out how it will unfold and what he needs."

Kate will no doubt be happy as she has been waiting for this moment for months. Just recently, she revealed that she had her home adapted as she was hopeful that he could come home to his family in time for Christmas but the current lockdown changed all their plans.

Derek has returned home after more than a year in hospital

In an interview with The Sunday Times, the GMB co-host revealed that in December, she had their house fitted with ramps and widened doorways for wheelchair access, as well as installing a wet room.

Before the lockdown was announced, the mum-of-two was hoping to bring Derek home for a few hours in order to help his recovery. She told the paper: "He'd been in hospital for nearly a year and I do wonder if he's become institutionalised. I wonder if there's a little bit of emotional lockdown going on."

A therapist, author and former Labour spin doctor, Derek became ill with COVID-19 in March 2020 and was rushed to hospital and put on a ventilator. Speaking about her husband's slow recovery, the 53-year-old said: "I feel like he is in an ocean of unconsciousness and sometimes he comes up to the surface.

"In the run-up to Christmas there were moments of consciousness where I felt like we were really communicating… But then the focus of the concentration disappears, and he's gone." Derek and Kate tied the knot back in 2005 and share daughter Darcey, 15, and son, Billy, 11. The doting mum has written a book about her family's experience which will be out next month.

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