Kate Garraway made the heartbreaking admission back in April that her husband Derek Draper had contracted COVID-19. The Good Morning Britain star has shown incredible strength during her husband's health battle as she cares for their two children, Darcey, 14, and Billy, ten. Kate has bravely shared detailed and honest accounts of his illness and how it is affecting herself and their children. Now, ten weeks after he was admitted to intensive care, Derek is coronavirus-free, but Kate confessed the illness has played havoc with his body, impacting his internal organs, including his heart and kidneys. Here's everything Kate has said about Derek's condition…
WATCH: Kate Garraway emotionally discusses Derek Draper's health in first TV interview
News of Derek's illness was revealed at the beginning of April, although he was admitted to hospital on 30 March. A spokesperson for Kate told The Sun: "Kate's husband, Derek Draper, has been taken to hospital and is being treated in intensive care with a confirmed case of COVID-19. He was admitted on Monday and has since tested positive for the virus." That same week, Kate joined the nation clapping for carers to show her support for the NHS. Sharing a video on Instagram, she wrote: "We had an extra special reason to #clapthecarers in our house tonight but there's a special reason for us all isn't there. Thank you to all the health workers caring for our loved ones and key workers keeping our lives going. You are incredible."
That same month, Kate shared a worrying update on Derek's condition through her GMB co-star Ben Shephard. In a statement, she said: "Derek remains in intensive care and is still very ill. I'm afraid it remains an excruciatingly worrying time. The NHS team who have been working on him have all been extraordinary and I know that it's only their professionalism, dedication and bravery that has kept Derek with us so far. I also know that they're working just as hard on all the patients in their care."
That same month, during her third Clap for Carers, Kate admitted that Derek was in a "critical condition". She posted on Instagram: "From the bottom of my heart a billion thank yous to the extraordinary #nhsworkers whose skills, dedication and downright guts in the face of so much personal risk, are keeping my Derek alive, just as they are doing for thousands of COVID patients. I'm afraid he is still in a deeply critical condition, but he is still here, which means there is hope."
Kate Garraway's husband has been in a coma for 10 weeks
While Kate has been unable to visit her husband in the hospital, close friend Ben Shephard revealed during an episode of GMB that she has been able to speak to him nightly on the phone. He said on the show: "She also wanted to share the fact that she's been able to speak to Derek in the evenings in a coma. A lot of hospitals are doing this, offering the families a chance to speak to their loved ones. He can't respond but she's been able to share music with him, talk to him, just to support him."
Ben also revealed that Kate has found great comfort in the outpouring of love she has received from fans. He added: "She can't respond to everybody, as much as she wishes she could, but in quieter moments, when she does get ten minutes, she scrolls through them and the emotions and support she is getting from everybody has been really helping. It's really tough, really, really tough, he is still very, very critically ill."
Kate took to her website Club Garraway Wellbeing to speak in-depth about Derek's condition. Calling this difficult period of time "the hardest of my life", the mum-of-two added that the situation can feel "so intense and so painful that you do not know what to do with yourself ". She bravely explained: "You may have seen over the last few weeks that my husband Derek has been seriously ill in hospital with COVID-19. I am afraid that he remains in a deeply critical condition and is very ill, but he's still alive so there is hope.
"It remains an extremely worrying time for us all and the last couple of weeks have been the hardest of my life." Kate also thanked NHS staff for their hard work in caring for her husband, adding: "From the bottom of my heart a billion thank yous to the extraordinary NHS workers whose skills, dedication and downright guts in the face of so much personal risk, are keeping my Derek alive, just as they are for thousands of other COVID patients."
Despite her own grief, Kate also offered fans advice on coping with a sick loved one. The TV star began: "Even though the present moment is incredibly scary, I found it really helps to focus on my breath. I try to do breathing exercises every day to get myself through each day. Seeing our emotions and feeling as waves is helpful too. The crest of the wave cannot stay high the entire time, it will ebb and flow and move and the waves will come further apart over time. Sometimes it might feel so intense and so painful that you do not know what to do with yourself and at other moments you may also experience moments of joy amongst the pain."
Kate said looking after her children is her 'top priority'
Kate shared some techniques she is using to help her children deal with this heartbreaking situation. "I have been letting the children choose our activities – I am spending a lot of time on my phone so when I am not I throw myself into Lego or battleships or whatever, so they know I am there for them," she wrote on her website. "There are of course moments when I feel exhausted to my bones and I just have to rest but that's ok too. This is an absolutely heartbreaking and emotionally draining time for so many of us." The TV star later added: "And of course, I am hugging the kids whether they like it or not and looking after them is of course a top priority."
Kate made the devastating revelation in May that Derek's battle with COVID-19 is far from over. Speaking on Instagram, she admitted: "The journey for me and my family seems to be far from over as every day my heart sinks as I learn new & devastating ways this virus has more battles for Derek to fight. But he is still HERE & so there is still hope."
Kate bravely admitted that she shed a few tears during the final Clap for Carers after finding comfort in the weekly shout-out to the NHS. Taking to her Instagram, the star revealed that Derek is still in intensive care, and that she remains hopeful he will recover soon. "Hear this might be the last clap for carers... It's been such a source of weekly comfort for them & me & I must admit I felt the tears come tonight to think it’s coming to an end before Derek’s ordeal with us... I am having to find new ways of staying strong every day for Darcey & Billy, as I know Derek would want me to. It’s not easy but when I think of how hard Derek is fighting & the bravery of all in the #nhs it helps."
Kate made her first appearance on Good Morning Britain since her husband's hospital admission. In a touching interview, she admitted her mood has dipped in the past couple of weeks as Derek's health struggles have continued. "I think about two weeks ago I probably did crash, because you can't stay like that forever. The problem is, I have huge hope and massive positivity and I'll never give up on that because Derek's the love of my life but at the same time I have absolute uncertainty."
Dr Hilary Jones revealed that he advised Kate to call an ambulance for Derek after he struggled to hold his breath for longer than ten seconds. He said on GMB: "All I asked him to do was to hold his breath and see how long he could hold it for without becoming uncomfortable and it was less than ten seconds and I said to Kate, 'Look, this is the time to call an ambulance, he is breathless, significantly breathless.' And that's when he was admitted and I've been in touch with her since, and she has been so strong, so supportive of the NHS and everything they've done and they've done a remarkable job but he is still very poorly, and we send our love and support."
Kate Garraway gave an emotional interview to GMB
During Kate's emotional interview on GMB, she held back tears as she admitted she doesn't know if her husband will recover or how long it will take. She said: "He is very, very sick and as time goes on… it's a virus… it's affected him from the top of his head to the tip of his toes. 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." She added: "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."
Kate also shared the sweet but heartbreaking last words Derek said to her before doctors put him in a coma. She revealed: "He said, 'I love you, I have to leave you.' And I said, 'It's only for three or four 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, he is under,' and that's it, that's the last time I spoke to him."
Poor Kate could be without her husband for even longer after one doctor suggested he could be in a coma for at least 12 months. She added: "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."
While Kate has had no contact with Derek for weeks, she had a rare moment of happiness after finding a touching message from him as she packed his bag for the hospital. Doctors had asked Kate to drop off a few familiar items for her husband, including the shampoo and body wash he likes, which she put in a small suitcase she had last used on a work trip before lockdown. "I opened it up and there was a card he'd written for me, which I'd read at the time. It says how much he loves me, how proud of me he is, and that he was feeling so good about us. It was just so romantic and it feels so odd reading it now he's in this state," she shared with The Sun.
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