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A tearful Kate Garraway reveals husband Derek Draper is COVID-19 free but may never recover

Derek Draper has been in intensive care for nine weeks

kate garraway interview
Andrea Caamano
Website Editor
Updated: June 5, 2020
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Kate Garraway made an emotional appearance on Good Morning Britain as she joined colleagues Ben Shephard and Ranvir Singh via video call to talk about her husband Derek Draper's battle with COVID-19 and how she and her children, Billie and Darcey, have been coping.

WATCH: Kate reveals the last words she said to her husband before he was put into a coma

Speaking for the first time since her husband was admitted to intensive care nine weeks ago, Kate held back tears as she admitted she doesn't know if her husband will recover or how long it will take. Admitting she's hoping for one last miracle, she spoke about the moment her husband Derek was put into a coma, the last words they said to each other, and revealed how she's trying her best to find positives in this very desperate time.

MORE: Kate Garraway cries as she reveals her husband Derek's last words to her and their children

"He's still with us," Kate said. "He has fought the most extraordinary battle and I hate that idea of fighting a battle because it is a battle, but the fact that he's still here and is holding on. I hate the idea that other people haven't fought hard enough or something. And I'm just so grateful that he's still here and I've got the option of praying and hoping when others have had that stripped away, but he is very, very sick."

kate garraway and derek draper© Photo: Rex

She added: "He is very, very sick and as time goes on… it's a virus. It's a little bit like a computer virus I think, the doctors manage one bit extraordinarily well and there seems to be a flicker of hope and then other things emerge and they're fighting that, and it's affected him from the top of his head to the tip of his toes.

"Let's look at some of the positives – he is now COVID free. So he's testing negative for the COVID virus. So the fight with the virus has been won and he's still here, but it’s wreaked extraordinary damage on his body and we don't know if he can recover basically."

WATCH As Kate says that Derek is COVID free

The 53-year-old continued to explain to Ben and Ranvir: "The doctor says he is the worst affected person he's had to treat that's lived. Thank god he's lived so far and I'm so grateful for that but they don't know. They're looking at damage to his body - they have some idea of what that might mean with another illness but they don't know," she explained. "Derek's situation is incredibly rare. The damage he's sustained and we don't know what effect that's had on him - if he can recover, the doctors have told me he's one in five people."

derek draper and his children© Photo: Rex

"At the beginning all I wanted was to let him live, 'Let him live, please don't let him die'. But now what we're seeing is there are more and more people who are living but with completely unforeseen consequences and unknowns. For some people there are going to be big consequences that despite the doctor's incredible knowledge, it's a war. They say 'In peacetime we'd say this...'

"It is an absolute miracle that he's here, I keep saying I know I've had a miracle but if I could just have one more, if he could just make that last step.

Explaining how it all unfolded, the presenter said: "Derek had had a really painful shoulder for a couple of months and just before lockdown came he was feeling really unwell and in misery from that but home tutoring the kids while I was working. On Friday I got back and I had this weird feeling. I said you have't got a cough have you? He didn't have a temperature."

kate garraway live

"I rang the doctor and said he's got sinusitis and he got some antibiotics and over the weekend we were talking to each other and I was saying, 'You don't look great', but no real feeling it was COVID-19. He had no symptoms. Then on Monday I came home from Smooth, I picked up a laptop and I came in and I said, 'God you look ill'. He had a headache and weird numbness in his right hand and he said, 'I'm finding it hard to breathe.'.

"I tried to get through on 111 and I couldn't so I called Dr Hilary. He spoke to Derek and he did some breathing test and I'll never forget it and he said, 'I think you need to call an ambulance'. I called the ambulance thinking, 'I'm going to be wasting their time.' The ambulance came, two medics came, did a thumb test and said they needed to take him to hospital straight away as his oxygen level was really low. He'd never been to hospital before, he never really gets ill. Helped him down the stairs and they put him in the ambulance and put a mask on him to breathe.

"Darcey and Billy were worried, went into hospital and he went straight to intensive care and in that first week it looked like he was rallying, the doctors were very positive. But he was very bad. He couldn't really speak to me, he was begging me, saying, 'I can't stand this, I feel like I'm suffocating, please let them put me in a coma.' But the doctors said we should wait. Then on the Sunday morning they rang me up and the doctor said, 'We've got him here we're going to bring him into a coma, he can hear you.'

ben and kate laugh interview

"He said, 'I love you, I have to leave you.' And I said, 'It's only for 3 or 4 days' and he said, 'You've saved my life, I don't mean now, I mean everything, being married to you and the children' and I said 'I love you, I love you', and the doctors said, 'He's gone'.

"I'm sorry to be so miserable nobody needs this on a Friday morning, I'm so sorry there are positives."

The mother-of-two later revealed that a doctor had told her Derek could be in a coma for up to a year. "I said to the doctor, 'Why do you think it has affected him so badly? I guess we will find out in a few months' time, there will be more knowledge' and he said, 'try a decade, Kate, this is a big virus that we don't understand'.

"With Derek, we don't know if he can recover and what the doctors say is 'We can't say he can't recover, we don't know he can recover and we don't know how long it will take'. So, from that you take terrible uncertainty and how to find good in it because you have to think to yourself 'Well, there is hope, there is possibility, they can't say he can't recover'.

"They don't know how long, and now they are talking weeks and months. One doctor even said it could be up to a year, which feels unthinkable but we are praying there will be progress before that."

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