Kate Garraways heartbreak on life with Derek Draper: Things will never be the same
Kate Garraway takes GMB break to be with Derek Draper
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Kate Garraway is taking a second week off from presenting on Good Morning Britain and Smooth Radio as her husband of 17 years, Derek Draper, has taken a “serious turn for the worse” and was rushed into hospital last week. The 55-year-old added that she is now in “survival mode”. But this is not the beginning of Garraway’s plight as the broadcaster’s husband fell seriously ill with COVID-19 two years ago with life being a “constant struggle” ever since.
Draper, 54, a former Labour political aide and psychologist, was left with restricted speech, bedridden, and needing 24-hour care after contracting the virus in 2020 which saw him in a medically induced coma for months.
Garraway was constantly by his side with the family’s struggles detailed in a heartbreaking documentary, aired on ITV last year, Finding Derek.
In an interview with You magazine earlier this year, Garraway said she doubted life would ever return to normal despite Draper then being back at their North London home, but that the couple still “absolutely” have moments of deep connection.
She said: “I mean, I don’t think things will ever be the same again, because I don’t think we as a family and he as a human being could go through something like that and not be impacted by it.
“Months in a coma and then this. It’s going to change him, even if it’s only emotionally. We’ve all been through so much. I’m not the same.”
Following Finding Derek — which won the National Television Award for Best Authored Documentary — Garraway was awarded an MBE for her services to broadcasting, journalism, and charity.
One gut-wrenching moment of the documentary saw Draper tell Garraway over FaceTime that he was feeling suicidal, saying he “couldn’t go on”.
But in April 2021, his condition improved and he was allowed home after more than a year spent in hospital.
Draper is believed to be one of the longest-suffering COVID-19 patients in the UK.
Garraway and the couple’s two children, Darcey (16) and William (12), were limited in how much they could see Draper over the 13 months he was in the hospital due to Covid restrictions.
But although Garraway said she is no longer the same person, she felt the couple never stopped loving each other.
She continued: “I’m not sure that we’ve ever fallen out of love, but I think a new path is emerging, a new way to be in love. He puts huge trust in me. He just says: ‘Whatever you think.’ Which is wonderful, but I do get quite tearful about it.
“I think: ‘God, I hope I’m worthy of that trust’. But I’ve got his back. That is a relationship in itself, isn’t it? How many times do couples have doubts about each other?
“That’s a positive thing to come out of this, to have that certainty of each other. He and I are very close.”
Garraway’s second documentary, Caring for Derek, aired earlier this year, showing how her family life had altered since Draper returned home.
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The broadcaster has received an outpouring of love from her fellow Good Morning Britain colleagues since the decline in Draper’s health was first announced.
Presenter Charlotte Hawkins, speaking alongside Garraway’s co-host Ben Shephard, said: “Kate’s taken some time out to be with Derek at the moment so we are sending lots of love.
“Lots of you have been in touch with messages of support, so we wish him well.”
Garraway and Draper first met in 2004 after they were introduced through GMTV political editor, Gloria De Piero.
The couple tied the knot in 2005 and Garraway gave birth to their first child, Darcey, the following year with their son, William — known as Billy — being born in 2009.
Kate Garraway’s two documentaries, Finding Derek and Caring for Derek, are both available on ITV Hub.
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