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Kate Garraway’s husband Derek Draper’s heartbreaking Covid battle – the full story

Kate Garraway’s husband has been unwell with Covid since March 2020 – what is actually wrong?

kate garraway derek draper documentary
Melanie Macleod
Melanie MacleodWellness Editor
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Derek Draper has been bedridden since contracting coronavirus in March 2020. He spent over a year in hospital and requires 24-hour care, with Kate Garraway saying in February 2022 that her husband is "still terribly affected by Covid" and that the illness has "undoubtedly" impacted his "brain connections to his body".

READ: Kate Garraway reveals secret trip to Mexico with Derek Draper for specialist treatment

Ahead of her second ITV documentary on Derek’s Covid battle, Caring For Derek, Kate revealed that she accompanied her husband on an 11,000-mile trip to Mexico for cutting-edge medical treatment that they hope will make a difference to his recovery. Derek is set to return to Mexico for 28 days next month for more treatment.

WATCH: Emotional moment Derek Draper hugs his son

Kate has been open about Derek’s health issues, talking regularly on Good Morning Britain and in her NTA-winning documentary Finding Derek. Here's everything we know about his Covid battle.

What’s wrong with Derek Draper?

Derek caught Covid in March 2020 and was admitted to hospital with extreme breathing difficulties. He was in intensive care for a week before being put into a coma to rest his lungs.

derek draper documentary© Photo: Rex

Derek sleeps for up to 20 hours per day

He remained in the medically induced coma until July 2020 yet stayed in hospital until April 2021, when he returned to the family home in North London.

Kate adapted the house to his needs and Derek required round-the-clock care. Kate shared that she regularly gets up every two hours in the night to help the overnight carer move Derek in bed, as well as changing his bed linen seven times a day. 

MORE: Kate Garraway's family home is a retreat for her husband Derek – photos

Kate said in October 2021 that Derek sleeps for up to 20 hours a day, suffers from fatigue and brain fog and his communication is minimal, with Covid side effects including brain inflammation and damage to the lungs, kidneys, heart and liver.

When asked how her husband is mentally in February 2022, Kate told Ben Shephard and Dr. Hilary Jones: "I don't know about mental wellbeing if I'm absolutely honest because he is still so affected in terms of communication and mobility that I wouldn't feel qualified to say whether it had had an impact in terms of depression and anxiety.

"I mean it must be I would have thought, because if you are still unable to communicate and very challenged mobility-wise, and lung, and all the other things, then that is going to affect anxiety."

READ: Kate Garraway gives heartbreaking update on husband Derek Draper's health battle

MORE: Kate Garraway reveals bittersweet reaction to parting from Derek Draper for first time in two years

Is Derek Draper getting better?

Doctors told Kate in June 2021 that if they didn’t see improvement within two years of Derek contracting Covid that there was "very little chance of him making any meaningful recovery."

Derek still suffers from mobility and communication issues post-Covid, but in positive news, Kate told The Telegraph he is able to understand what’s going on. "We’re clear now that he does understand everything that I tell him. So there are moments when you know he’s in there, and he has a lot of memory."

While Kate said in February 2022 that Derek is still "terribly affected" by Covid, with very limited mobility and communication, she is feeling hopeful following their trip to Mexico. "There’s a huge amount of hope for him to improve. I think the treatment could be positive," she said.

kate garraway sofa© Photo: Rex

Kate is cautious about how much she speaks about Derek's treatment

What treatment is Derek Draper receiving?

In February 2022, Kate shared that she and Derek had visited a specialist clinic in Mexico after an eminent doctor reached out after seeing the Finding Derek documentary.

Kate said she’s reluctant to share too much about what the treatment is, saying on GMB, “I want to be slightly careful about saying too much, because I’m aware everybody will go, 'What is the trial?'"

RELATED: Kate Garraway's home is a sanctuary for Derek Draper

Speaking about the visit to the specialist clinic, Kate said: "It's all come about because of the first documentary. This is a doctor who works in the US and he's been working for 13 years on clinical trials of this treatment and he is just at the point of waiting for approval on it and of course, 11 years ago there was no such thing as Covid so he's been looking at it for other things. 

"When he saw the documentary, he had already started helping people with the impact of Covid and he saw it and saw Derek and said, 'I can help this man.'"

Before making the trip to Mexico, Derek had to undergo oxygen and pressure tests to check he was fit to fly. Kate and Derek were accompanied by a specialist travel nurse to ensure his safety.

The trip will be shown in a new ITV documentary titled Caring For Derek and Derek is set to return to Mexico for 28 days in March 2022 for more treatment.

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