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Kate Garraway still sees ‘flashes of the old Derek’ as husband continues long Covid battle

Garraway’s second documentary about her husband Derek Draper’s illness is scheduled for release on Tuesday (22 February)

Maanya Sachdeva
Tuesday 22 February 2022 10:27 GMT
Kate Garraway gives heartbreaking update on Derek Draper's 'worrying' COVID-19 battle

Kate Garraway has spoken about her husband Derek Draper’s ongoing battle with long Covid.

In a new interview, Garraway said that she sometimes sees “flashes of the old Derek” as he continues to struggle with health problems caused by coronavirus.

While discussing her forthcoming docuseries Caring For Derek – a follow-up to the award-winning Finding Derek – the Good Morning Britain presenter said Draper, 54, experiences “a kind of heartbreak” every day.

The former political adviser became seriously ill with the virus in March 2020. While he is now Covid-free, he suffered severe damage to his organs – including his liver, lungs, pancrease, kidney and heart – and now requires constant home care and supervision.

Draper’s leg muscles and tendons have also seized up from having to be placed in a long, medically induced coma – meaning there’s a chance he may never walk again.

“There are flashes of the old Derek and then he disappears again, and you’re left just feeling really lonely,” Garraway told The Sun.

Adding that Draper – who sleeps between 16–20 hours every day – dreams about the “before”, she revealed that it is “awful” to see him grapple with his condition “every single morning”.

“There’s a kind of heartbreak in his eyes,” she said.

Further providing an update on Draper’s slow recovery, Garraway said that her husband doesn’t have much of an appetite any longer. As Draper used to have a big appetite, Garraway said she sometimes feels as if she is “living with a stranger”.

Kate Garraway gave an update on her husband, Derek Draper’s condition following a long battle with Covid-19 (BBC/Andrew Marr)

The pair married in 2005 and share a daughter and a son, Darcey and Billy.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain ahead of Caring for Derek’s release, Garraway revealed she had been contacted by a doctor in the US who has offered to help her husband with a new treatment he’s been developing.

“It’s all come about actually because of the first documentary, so this is a doctor who works in the US and he’s been working for 13 years on clinical trials of this treatment in the US and he is just at the point of waiting for approval on it,” she said.

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“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’.”

Garraway and her husband Derek are the subjects of a new documentary about his Covid ordeal (Tim Ireland/PA Wire/PA Images)

The couple flew out to Monterrey, Mexico, in November last year so Draper could begin the trial. They will return for another 28-day stay next month, when doctors will continue to monitor his brain, liver and lung function.

Garraway also discussed a clip from the new programme where Draper is seen hugging his son, which she said made her “burst into tears”.

“I didn’t actually see this until I watched the footage, and it’s the first moment that Derek moves his arm... it makes me cry even now,” she said.

“That is the first moment we’ve seen him be able to activate a movement prompted by emotion, not just someone going ‘Can you just move your arm to the left or right’.”

Caring for Derek will premiere on 22 February at 9pm on ITV.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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