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Kate Garraway discloses financial difficulties as she confesses she is on 'survival mode' since his death

The Good Morning Britain star faces up to £800,000 in care debt

Kate Garraway on Good Morning Britain
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
25 March 2024
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Kate Garraway has opened up about the large amount of debt she's facing for the care of her late husband Derek Draper

After falling seriously ill with Covid in 2020, Derek spent over a year in hospital and after being discharged, required round-the-clock care at home. He passed away in January aged 56 and is survived by his and Kate's two children: Darcey, 18, and Billy, 14. 

In a new interview with The Times, Kate spoke about her last interactions with Derek, and also revealed the £800k worth of care debt she's incurred.  

"We were in a very different place, health-wise, from the year before – and it felt like the happiest place. We had more of Derek back. We always knew his injuries could take him, but it all felt so positive at that point, it was the furthest from my mind that anything could happen," said Kate, who had just landed in Mexico to collect Derek from a pioneering brain cell clinic when she received a call to say that he had suffered a cardiac arrest mid-flight. 

Derek Draper has passed away at the age of 56© Instragram
Derek Draper passed away at the age of 56 in January

Although doctors restarted his heart and Derek underwent 14 hours of neurosurgery, he never regained consciousness. On January 3, he "slipped away" with his wife and two children by his side. 

While Derek needed 24/7 care while at home, he was not eligible for funding, leaving Kate with large debts. In her interview, the journalist estimated the care debt to be £500,000 to £800,000. 

Derek Draper watching TV covered in blankets with his children© Instagram
Derek required round-the-clock care at home after being hospitalised with Covid

Kate already owed debts in excess of £700,000, which were incurred after she closed her husband's psychotherapy company back in March 2022. 

"It's supposed to be a system that's meant to catch you if you fall," said Kate. "But actually, it feels like it's trying to catch you out. You feel like you're in the dock answering questions about things that will literally mean life or death to someone you love. Derek's needs were clearly so great, yet he didn't warrant funded care — so you think, 'If he isn’t getting it, then who is?'"

"To be fair to them, no one's contacted me since he’s passed away to ask for that," she continued. "They may well still do, but they haven’t as yet. The bigger picture of the further appeals I haven't addressed yet, because I’m still in survival mode."

Derek with Kate and their two children months before his death© Instagram
Derek with Kate and their two children months before his death

Kate's third documentary, titled Derek's Story, airs on Tuesday night. Filmed during Derek's last year, the film highlights Derek's personal struggles, as well as the challenges faced by millions of people in the UK living with serious illness and those caring for them.

While broadcasting the documentary after Derek's death felt "unbearable" to Kate initially, she said the film is his "legacy". 

Derek Draper and Kate Garraway
© James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock
Kate says her and Derek's third documentary is his "legacy"

"I think I've got to, because Derek wanted it. So it's for him; it's his legacy, if you like," she said, adding that she hopes to "give a voice" to the other carers in this country who "I now feel so responsible to speak up for". 

Kate Garraway: Derek's Story airs on ITV1 and ITVX on Tuesday 26 March at 9pm.

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