‘I think sickness is selfish’: Kate Garraway opens up about realities of caring for Derek Draper

‘Selfish in the sense that it does strip you of your empathy,’ says broadcaster

Olivia Petter
Monday 11 September 2023 08:58 BST
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Kate Garraway has opened up about the realities of caring for her husband, Derek Draper, in a new interview.

A former lobbyist, Draper, 55, was left with long-lasting organ damage after falling seriously ill with Covid-19 in March 2020.

After spending more than a year in hospital with Covid from March 2020 to April 2021, partly in an induced coma, he has been in and out of hospital since then for various treatments, including in October 2022 after he contracted sepsis.

Now, speaking to The Sunday Times, Garraway, 53, has spoken at length about Draper’s condition, the constant care he requires today, and the toll it takes on her.

Currently, Draper has no physical mobility and needs to be held upright by two people five times a day in order to bear any weight.

“Being upright is incredible for the brain,” Garraway explained. “We’re meant to be upright – you don’t want your brain to adjust to being flat.”

However, a lack of progress has taken a toll on them both. “The truth is he’s terribly, terribly depressed,” the Good Morning Britain presenter added.

“I think sickness is selfish,” she continued. “Selfish in the sense that it does strip you of your empathy. He does get very emotional about the strain this has put on me.

“But when someone’s body doesn’t work, their brain can’t make anything or anyone else a priority.”

Garraway went on to speak about how, as his condition progresses, those around her have become increasingly concerned.

“My friends worry that I can’t spend my life forever attached to whether Derek is having a good or bad day, for my own sanity,” she said.

“So I’ve got to create a bit of headspace. But we’ve never had a period where we could say, ‘Well, at least he’s safe now.’”

The interview comes after Garraway was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle in June.

The presenter was recognised in the 2022 New Year Honours for her services to broadcasting, journalism, and charity.

Draper was able to attend the investiture ceremony in his wheelchair, wearing a blue suit and stripe tie.

Garraway wore a cream dress with a bejewelled collar and a matching headpiece.

When it was announced that she had been awarded the accolade, Garraway said on GMB: “I actually feel very awkward about it all really, I don’t know why, because I’m thrilled to bits and incredibly honoured.

“But you just sort of think, ‘What? Me?’, and then you think it’s not real.”

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