The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Derek Draper: Kate Garraway’s husband and his year-long Covid battle

The Good Morning Britain presenter’s husband Derek has been in hospital since March last year

Natasha Preskey
Tuesday 23 March 2021 11:07 GMT
Comments
Trailer for Kate Garraway: Finding Derek

ITV presenter Kate Garraway’s husband Derek Draper is believed to be the UK’s longest surviving coronavirus inpatient.

Draper was admitted to hospital with Covid in March last year and was placed in a medically-induced coma. The 53-year-old has been unable to go home ever since and, last month, Garraway, also 53, said she hadn’t been able to visit him since Christmas.

Garraway has been open about her family’s ordeal since the beginning and now Draper’s illness is the subject of a new ITV documentary Kate Garraway: Finding Derek, which airs on Tuesday. Garraway has also written a book, to be released next month, about her husband’s battle with coronavirus.

Last week, Garraway revealed that she’d struggled financially as a result of her husband’s illness, as she’s unable to access the couple’s joint account and cannot refinance her mortgage, without her husband’s confirmation.

The former Good Morning Britain presenter and Draper married in 2005 and have two children, a 15-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son. 

Read more:

How long has Derek had Covid and what has happened?

Draper was first taken to hospital on 30 March last year after testing positive for coronavirus. Four days later, he was admitted to intensive care and put into an induced coma as his illness worsened. Garraway also displayed mild symptoms of Covid.

Earlier this month, Garraway revealed that she was mistakenly told her husband “may have died” after he was first hospitalised.

Speaking to The Times, she said she was told: “He may have died. Somebody will call you back.”

Garraway then had to endure 24 hours of waiting by the phone and frantically trying to find out what was going on. Eventually, the hospital called back to say they had made a mistake.

Kate, Derek and family when the presenter returned from her stint on I’m A Celeb in 2019
Kate, Derek and family when the presenter returned from her stint on I’m A Celeb in 2019 (PA)

“It turned out that somebody had died who had a similar name to his,” Garraway said.

In January this year, the presenter revealed that her two children had seen their father for the first time since last March over Christmas. Garraway has since been unable to visit her husband due to lockdown rules.

Draper no longer tests positive for coronavirus but is still in intensive care, and has suffered kidney failure, liver damage and pancreas and heart failure.

Recently, Garraway has told how her husband has been left emaciated and immobile by his illness.

(ITV)

Speaking to the Mirror, she said: "He has changed. Derek is physically very affected.

"His legs are like sticks, he has no muscle left. In terms of his movement, he’s physically affected.”

Last week, the presenter told the One Show how her husband’s brain is “no longer his friend”. 

She said: "His brain has always been his best friend and he’s lived on his wits and now suddenly his brain - as we all know controls his body - is no longer his friend and he’s fighting to get out."

What is ITV documentary Finding Derek about?

(ITV)

Finding Derek will explore Garraway’s experience over the last year. The film follows the presenter and her family in July 2020 and offers an update on her husband’s condition from March 2021. 

Speaking on Good Morning Britain last week, Garraway said she began making the documentary last August, then hoping that, by the time it aired, her husband would be well enough to speak alongside her.

Garraway said that long Covid has “much more widespread” symptoms than most people realise, and that the documentary will also look at the experiences of other families affected by the illness.

(ITV)

Speaking at the beginning of the programme back in July 2020, Garraway said: "I wanted to keep all of his Financial Times which he gets every day delivered. So they’re all here ready for you Derek when you come back....maybe it’s like a little capsule of time really. If he can wake up and he can begin to piece things together, maybe it will help him process the time that’s passed".

The programme airs Tuesday 23 March at 9pm on ITV.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in