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Derek Draper burst into tears after being reunited with kids and Kate Garraway at home

The GMB presenter has adapted their home for his needs

Emmy Griffiths

Kate Garraway has opened up about her husband, Derek Draper, finally returning home after spending over a year in hospital after contracting COVID-19. 

MORE: Ben Shephard and Richard Arnold say Derek Draper coming home is a 'godsend'

Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Friday live from her home, the TV personality spoke of her delight to have her husband back at home with herself and their two children, Darcey and Billy. 

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WATCH: Kate Garraway talks Billy and Darcey's emotional reunion with dad Derek

She said: "But there's been a lot of discussions about the best way to go, because it's balancing - it's a unique situation, Derek's situation. Looking at his cognition, looking at his consciousness, we're looking at the best way to help with that. 

It felt as though everything had stalled medically and if anything was going back... with COVID restrictions in place, I couldn't visit, family couldn't visit. Even therapeutic things we wanted couldn't happen, so taking that into account we said, 'Right, let's give this a go safely,' it does feel like the hospital has come home with me. It's been amazing. 

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Kate opened up about Derek's return home

Chatting to Kate, Ranvir said: "We're so thrilled for you, does Derek know he's home and has he expressed any feelings about it?" to which she replied: "When we came in the door, as we pulled up... I could see two little faces of Darcey and Billy looking out of the window and they ran out of the door, and Derek immediately burst into tears and there was a lot of hugging. He absolutely knew he was home.

MORE: Kate Garraway takes control of husband Derek Draper's business after 'financial' woes

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

"He is responding all of the time, but he's not able to talk... but he is responding and aware of where he is. There have been so many lovely little moments. When he was in a coma I kept saying, 'When you get home you can have one of my casseroles,' and when he got back I realised I was laying the table for four. It just feels like the start of a huge chapter." 

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Kate chatted to Ranvir and Ben about Derek's return

Speaking about the extra help they are going to need, Kate added: "He can't really move, we do need a lot of help, and it's not just help looking after him - which is 24-hour care... it's a whole new team so he's probably gotten used to the people in the hospital but now there are new people so it's going to take a lot of adjustment. But there's also the therapies... he's sort of plateaued at this level and we're hugely grateful for this level but we want to see if he can speak more and move more and see what we can draw out. It's going to be very slow I'm afraid, and a bit of a wait and see." 

Speaking about her children's reaction to their dad being home, she continued: "They've been amazing actually... they were outside in the garden and I was trying to position him so he could see them, and they were running up to the door shouting, 'Dad, watch this!' and going back again... They both not stopped cuddling him. It was a very late on Wednesday night and Bill said, and Darcey agreed, he said, 'Mum, he's home! Let's just take that in.'" 

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Derek spent over a year in hospital

The presenter's co-stars on the breakfast show had confirmed that Derek was back at home earlier in the show, with Ranvir calling it a "wonderful moment". 

She said: "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." 

Ben 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." Speaking about her husband in a documentary, Finding Derek, in late March, Kate revealed that she has already adapted the house to his needs to be ready for his return home. 

At the time, she said: "We are planning for ground-floor living, presuming he will be on a stretcher or in a wheelchair." The work included installing a ramp outside their property so a wheelchair could be able to enter with ease, and they are also considering a lift to the garden.  She also disclosed plans to "sleep downstairs on a put-me-up bed" to be close to her husband, reinforcing that she thinks it's "important".

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