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Kate Garraway breaks silence after announcing heartbreaking death of husband Derek Draper

Derek passed away at the age of 56

Kate Garraway on Good Morning Britain
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
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Kate Garraway has shared a message to the viewers of Good Morning Britain after announcing the sad death of her husband Derek Draper last week. 

The former political adviser passed away at the age of 56 following several years of serious health complications inflicted by coronavirus. Derek had been critically ill following a heart attack in early December. 

In a pre-recorded tribute sent via email and read out by host Susanna Reid at the start of Monday's show, Kate said: "Hello everyone. Thank you all so much for all the wonderful messages you have sent me. It really does mean so much to me, Darcey, Billy, and all of Derek's family.

WATCH: Kate Garraway breaks silence after announcing husband Derek's death

"They are an extraordinary comfort, and I am so lucky to feel connected to you all through these messages at this time when the raw pain of grief can be so isolating.

"And that is the wonderful thing, isn't it, about our Good Morning Britain family - that all of us on the team and all of you watching from home are connected, supporting each other through the challenges of life."

Derek Draper and Kate Garraway
© James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock
Derek Draper passed away last week aged 56

The presenter, who is a mum to teenagers Darcey, 17, and Billy, 14, continued: "Knowing that we can also laugh at the fun and joys together that we share too.

"I am certain that it is the support you have given me and sent to Derek that has sustained us through these tough nearly 4 years, motivating us to fight on for each other and for those that can't fight for themselves. And it will sustain us to continue that fight in the weeks and months and years to come.

"I look forward to waking up with you very soon again on Good Morning Britain to celebrate life in all its wonder and challenge again.

Derek Draper has passed away at the age of 56© Instragram
Derek suffered serious health complications after contracting coronavirus in 2020

"I hope you forgive me for taking some time to be at home. My family is so grateful we could be with our dearest Derek in his final moments, something not all get to share.

"Maybe you too are going through grief yourself, or have done in the past.

"I send love and support to you too.

"We are taking time to heal ourselves, now that Darcey and Billy know their Daddy is at peace and free from pain and struggle."

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

Signing off the message, she said: "I shall be thinking of you all until we are reunited very soon. In the meantime, hug your loved ones close - all my love, Kate."

Susanna was visibly emotional as she praised Kate's tribute. "It's absolute classic Kate that in a circumstance which is so deeply painful for her and her family," she said. "She thinks of absolutely everybody else who might be in the same situation or may have already suffered loss. 

"Kate's unwavering devotion to Derek and her determination to help him recover from the devastating consequences of Covid has imprinted itself on everyone who knows her and also the whole nation, from the royal family to the country's political leaders. From those who work in medicine to those who work in showbiz and to so many of you watching now."

Kate Garraway with Derek Draper and her parents after being made an MBE © Getty
Derek joined Kate and her parents when she was honoured with an MBE by Prince William last June

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".

Derek was first diagnosed with coronavirus back in 2020 and spent 13 months in hospital before returning home, where he received round-the-clock care from specialist nurses and his wife. 

Derek had been in and out of hospital since then for various reasons and in December 2023 was admitted after suffering a cardiac arrest.