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Kate Garraway reveals husband Derek Draper's heartbreaking final request

GMB presenter' husband died aged 56 in January

Kate Garraway green suit
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
19 March 2024
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Kate Garraway has opened up about her husband Derek Draper's final request just months after the political adviser passed away

Derek, who was the nation's longest-suffering COVID patient, died at the age of 56 in January after a four-year ordeal. 

Kate Garraway on 'Good Morning Britain' © Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Kate Garraway has opened up about her husband's final request

In a new film titled Kate Garraway: Derek's Story, which airs on 26 March, the Good Morning Britain host will share an intimate insight into how she supported Derek through his health battle – something which Derek really wanted. 

Asked why he wanted to take part in this film, Kate recalled: "He said, 'Never give up fighting for what you believe in and for the people you love.' His words and speech were so limited and there were so many things he wanted to say about the struggle we were all having as a family." 

She continued: "So we set out to make Derek‘s story together to highlight how he and our family are just one of millions who, every day, have to deal with the challenges of severe disability or life-threatening illness. 

"And we wanted to celebrate the incredible work of carers, both professional and those who do it out of love." Kate added that the documentary is "a way of allowing Derek's voice to be heard," however, "finishing without him has been so hard". 

Derek was first diagnosed with coronavirus back in 2020 and spent 13 months in hospital before being discharged. He received round-the-clock care at home from specialist nurses and his wife. 

"I am delighted that the film is a tribute to Derek and his incredible spirit," remarked Kate. "It's also a tribute to all of those who fight on to make every second of life count, whatever is thrown at them." 

Derek Draper and Kate Garraway
© James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock
Derek Draper passed away in January

She added: "I remember so vividly that the idea of making this third documentary at all came from Derek himself. I hadn't planned to make another one. He'd been released from a four-month spell in hospital for sepsis. 

"We were very positive about his recovery. Derek was determined to keep on getting better and improving. One day, we were sitting together while I was caring for him. He suddenly, from nowhere, asked, 'Are we making another documentary?' 

Kate Garraway gave viewers an insight into her family in the docuseries Caring for Derek© ITV
Kate has previously given viewers an insight into her family in the docuseries Caring for Derek

"I said, 'Well I hadn't really planned to. Were you thinking that you would like to?' And he said firmly 'yes'. I said, 'Well, if we do, I think we should work on it together and it should be your story, told in your voice'. Derek got very emotional at the idea because his words and speech were so limited. There were so many things he wanted to say about the struggle we were all having as a family and he wanted to speak up about it."

ITV star Kate has also made two documentaries detailing her family’s life as Derek battled the long-term effects of coronavirus, with both programmes winning National Television Awards in the authored documentary category. 

She has also written two books – The Power Of Hope: The Moving Memoir From ITV's Kate Garraway and The Strength Of Love: Embracing An Uncertain Future With Resilience And Optimism.

A timeline of Derek Draper's health battle

March 2020: Derek is diagnosed with COVID-19

Kate's husband was rushed to hospital after contracting COVID-19. He was left critically ill and would remain in hospital for over a year, fighting complications from the disease.

April 24, 2020: Derek placed in medically induced coma 

Derek was placed in a medically induced coma to help his body battle the impacts of COVID. He lost eight stone during this time.

July 2020: Derek wakes from his coma

Kate revealed he was in a "minimally conscious state".  The presenter and her two children were finally able to visit Derek in hospital as coronavirus restrictions eased.

September 2020: Kate gives an update on Derek's health

Kate revealed that his first word when he came around was "pain". After 214 days in hospital, he was able to breathe without a ventilator.

March 23, 2021: Kate releases Caring for Derek documentary

The ITV programme offered an insight into the family's struggle and how different their lives had been since Derek fell ill.

April 8, 2021: Derek allowed to move home

Kate began providing 24/7 care for Derek at their family home in London. She revealed his speech was "very minimal" and that moving around was difficult.

April 2022: Derek reunites with nurse who cared for him

Kate interviewed his carer, Beth Dixon, on GMB. It was an emotional moment for the whole family.

June 2022: Derek briefly returns to hospital

A family insider said they were worried about Derek's condition. Kate also stepped back from her GMB presenting duties.

January 2023: Derek returns to hospital

Kate revealed Derek had fallen out of his wheelchair and expressed her concern at the long ambulance waiting times.

July 2023: Derek watches Kate receive her MBE

Kate was presented with an MBE for services to journalism. Derek was pictured sitting in a wheelchair and cheering her on in an emotional photograph.

September 2023: Kate shares heartbreaking update

The GMB host admitted they didn't know whether Derek would ever get better.

December 2023: Derek suffers a heart attack

Kate revealed Derek had suffered a setback and was re-admitted to hospital. She said watching her husband struggle daily was "heartbreaking".

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