Kate Garraway has revealed she’s paid an ‘extra emotional’ first visit to her husband Derek Draper, as he continues to slowly recover from COVID-19.
The Good Morning Britain presenter, 53, also told Ben Shephard that it was ‘lovely’ to see her partner as today (28 July) is his 53rd birthday, but she continues to be ‘frustrated’ by his slow progress.
Kate told Ben: ‘I did go and see Derek, he’s had a tough couple of weeks, and it’s just frustrating, it would have actually been his birthday today so I was extra emotional so I was thinking about the day he was born.
At last! Kate Garraway has revealed she’s finally been to visit her husband Derek Draper, as he continues to slowly recover from COVID-19
She added: ‘What the doctor said to me was, “Sometimes, Kate, a day when nothing has gone backwards is a positive”.’
As Ben agreed that Derek had ‘a stable day,’ Kate added: ‘It’s just I’m desperate for a step forward. It’s always lovely to see him and so it’s wonderful to have the chance to see him.’
Kate also revealed she was celebrating her son Billy’s 11th birthday with his grandparents later that day, after pal Myleene Klass threw a party for him last week.
The presenter has been unable to visit her husband Derek due to strict measures in place in hospitals around the country during the coronavirus crisis, and has instead been ‘seeing him’ over FaceTime.
Reunited: The presenter told Ben Shephard that it was ‘lovely’ to see her partner as today (28 July) is his 54th birthday, but she continues to be ‘frustrated’ by his slow progress
On Monday, Kate also spoke about the ‘utterly terrifying’ moment her tyre blew while she was driving with her family over the weekend.
The Good Morning Britain presenter was left shaken following the incident, which occurred as she hurried back to see ailing husband Derek.
Speaking to co-host Ben, Kate said: ‘We were rushing back because we were conscious of getting back to London to check on Derek, and my mum and dad were coming for their first visit.
‘You know people say God and the universe doesn’t send you what you can’t deal with. I would like to put a message out, I am at my limit, I am at my absolute limit now. If the universe could just give me a calm Monday!’
‘Stable’: She told Ben: ‘It’s just I’m desperate for a step forward. It’s always lovely to see him and so it’s wonderful to have the chance to see him’
Referring to the accident, which happened while children Darcey, 14, and Billy, 11, were in the car, she added: ‘It was the first time that I had been out with the kids in the car…
‘Leaving London, going to meet some friends in Kent, in a socially distanced way at lovely Port Lympne Safari Park.
‘On the way back we suddenly exploded. It’s that moment where you think ”I can’t control the car.”
‘All weird steering, bits of rubber flying everywhere. I don’t know if it was smoke but looked like smoke – it could be burning rubber.
‘I managed to pull over but it just happened to be on the section of the motorway where there wasn’t a hard shoulder, there was a feeder road going off so I was nervous about people going on the inside.’
Family Kate also revealed she was celebrating her son Billy’s 11th birthday later that day (pictured with her son and daughter Darcey, 14, in December 2019)
Kate later admitted she had chosen to stay close to London for the sake of Derek, who remains in a critical condition at a local hospital.
She said: ‘We’ve been talking about travel plans all morning and the problems people are facing going to Spain and having to quarantine, but I made baby steps.
‘This was the first time I was taking the kids out of London. Obviously wanting to stay local to Derek and taking it step by step. This is something we do annually every year with some friends in Kent. All socially distanced.
‘Everything went well. Driving back in to town, thinking “that went OK” – you should never think that, should you?’
Praising her children, she added: ‘Bill and Darcey were brilliant but yeah, really shaken up, it’s nerve wracking.
‘We’re all well and actually, for once, my parking was applauded by the police. They said you did really well, you did the best you could, and I’ve never had a compliment for my parking.’
The horrifying incident comes after Kate revealed nurses told her that her stricken husband Derek looked ‘focused and engaged’ when they put Good Morning Britain on for him.
Speaking on July 21st, the presenter gave the promising update about the former Blair lobbyist, who was admitted to hospital in March after being diagnosed with coronavirus.
The TV host recently returned to GMB after taking time off while her husband was in intensive care and had told viewers that nurses had put the show on for him to try to stimulate a response.
Terrifying! The Good Morning Britain presenter was left shaken following the incident, which occurred during her first family trip without husband Derek Draper
REVEALED: HOW THE CRUEL LEGACY OF COVID MAY LAST A LIFETIME
Covid-19 could leave survivors with debilitating illnesses that last for years, doctors have warned since the outbreak spiralled out of control.
One leading medic called it ‘this generation’s polio’ – a disease that killed thousands and left a generation with life-long mobility issues.
Patients who spend weeks fighting the disease can suffer from long-term complications caused by permanent damage to their lungs and liver, but serious problems can also blight people who only have a minor illness.
SCARRING AND LONG-TERM LUNG DAMAGE
Several recent studies have highlighted proof Covid-19 causes fibrosis – scarring of the lung tissue – that makes it harder for the organs to work.
A research paper published in a Chinese journal in March said ‘pulmonary fibrosis may be one of the major [long-term] complications in Covid-19 patients’.
A build-up of scar tissue in the lungs can reduce their capacity to absorb air, leaving a patient with breathing difficulties, shortness of breath or a cough.
Insufficient oxygen also has knock-on effects on the other vital organs, which rely on the chemical to work. Without it, they cannot work as efficiently and may start to fail or work less efficiently.
Failing kidneys may result in a patient needing long-term medication or dialysis, while a severely damaged liver could require a transplant to treat.
IMMUNE SYSTEM OVER-REACTION CAN DAMAGE HEART, LIVER & KIDNEYS
Evidence is also emerging that the virus may affect the the liver, kidneys, heart and blood vessels because of the way it can force the immune system to attack healthy parts of the body.
As well as the potential of immediate death in the case of kidney failure, a heart attack or a stroke, any damage to these vital organs can cause lifelong disability and dramatically increase the risk of dying young.
A paper in the journal JAMA Cardiology in March reported a fifth of patients in a group of 416 who were hospitalised in Wuhan, China, had suffered heart damage.
Another study in Wuhan found that 16 out of 36 intensive care patients developed irregular heartbeats, called arrhythmia, which can weaken the heart’s ability to pump blood.
Coronavirus can also cause blood clots, scientists say, which raise the risk of stroke or heart attack.
The heart problems are thought to occur as a result of the virus triggering a ‘cytokine storm’, where the immune system overreacts to the infection.
GROWING EVIDENCE OF BRAIN DAMAGE AND NEUROLOGICAL EFFECTS
Long-term brain damage may also be a consequence of Covid-19 infection, according to emerging research of patients who caught it.
Doctors around the world say they are seeing growing numbers of people with neurological symptoms such as headaches, loss of smell and taste, tingling sensations, losing the ability to speak and even seizures and strokes, the BBC reported.
Dr Elissa Fory, from the Henry Ford Foundation in Detroit, said: ‘We don’t know yet if the encephalopathy [brain damage] is more severe with Covid-19 than with other viruses, but I can tell you we’ve been seeing quite a lot of it.’
Symptoms affecting the brain are harder to measure and track – it took months for officials in the UK to admit a lost sense of smell was a symptom of coronavirus – but they can be permanent.
HOSPITAL STAYS AND TREATMENT CAN BE DEBILITATING
As well as damage caused by the virus itself, patients who are seriously ill with Covid-19 – particularly those in intensive care – will suffer long-term health problems just from being in hospital.
Physiotherapists warn patients muscles start to waste away quickly when they are in hospital beds, which can leave them with mobility problems for a long time – especially if they are already elderly, which many coronavirus patients are.
People’s lungs can also be irreparably damaged by ventilators, the intensive care machines which help people to breathe when they cannot do it alone.
The machines work by blowing air into the lungs through a tube inserted directly down the throat and into the airways. The pressure of the air being forced into the lungs can tear and split the delicate tissue inside the lungs and leave them permanently damaged. This is a trade-off: the machines are usually a last resort for people who can’t breathe on their own and would die without the ventilator.
People who get seriously ill are also at a risk of developing depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of their ordeal after the initial infection has gone.
EVEN MILD ILLNESS CAN DRAG ON FOR MONTHS
There is growing evidence that even mild Covid-19 can have long-lasting consequences and the UK Government last weekend launched a study into the after-effects of the illness.
Experts on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) warned that Covid-19 patients could be left with ‘extreme tiredness and shortness of breath for several months’ even if they were not hospitalised.
Concerns about the lasting effects of the illness were discussed in a SAGE meeting which took place on May 7.
Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS, revealed some patients need psychological treatment for ‘post-intensive care syndrome’.
And another scientific advisor to the Government told The Telegraph that ‘a very high proportion’ of Covid-19 survivors ‘cannot get back to a normal life’.
Kate said: ‘He is stable and actually yesterday I spoke to the nurses and they said they had put Good Morning Britain on.
‘And they felt he looked, because his eyes are open, he looked focused… He looked focused and engaged on it.’
The presenter also joked with co-host Ben: ‘They didn’t say whether it was me or you’, and admitted she found the news ‘very emotional’.
She said: ‘We don’t know whether it’s the movement of the light, or whether it’s the familiar voice. So, good morning, Derek, if you are watching.
‘We’re all sending you lots of love, everyone here is sending you lots of love. So there you go, your own personal Good Morning Britain.’
Kate said Derek, who she married in 2005, had endured a ‘tough week’ following ‘big falls’ in his blood pressure and swelling in his legs.
Hours before the show hit screens, Kate teased the update as she admitted she’d had an ’emotional few days’ as she took to Instagram to re-share snaps of herself and co-host Ben larking about on set.
Earlier this month Kate revealed in an emotional GMB interview that Derek had ‘almost died six times,’ during his battle with coronavirus.
A timeline of Derek’s coronavirus battle
Kate revealed she and Prince Charles had got ‘relatively close’ at the Prince’s Trust Awards on March 11 – Charles was diagnosed with coronavirus in mid-March.
She said: ‘Around the 29/30 March, I came home came in and said [to Derek] ‘god you look ill.’
‘He said he had a headache, numbness in his right hand, and was struggling to breathe,
‘I rang Dr Hilary (Jones) and tried to get through, he talked to Derek. He said put me back on, I think you need to call an ambulance’
Derek, 52, was taken into hospital on March 30 and remained in an unresponsive condition.
Kate and her children isolated at home after she displayed ‘mild symptoms’.
Kate said: ‘Derek remains in intensive care and is still very ill. I’m afraid it remains an excruciatingly worrying time.
‘I’m afraid he is still in a deeply critical condition, but he is still here, which means there is hope.’
Kate said: ‘The journey for me and my family seems to be far from over as every day my heart sinks as I learn new and devastating ways this virus has more battles for Derek to fight.
‘But he is still HERE & so there is still hope.’
That month, Kate and her family took part in the final clap for carers
She said: ‘I’ll never give up on that because Derek’s the love of my life but at the same time I have absolute uncertainty’
On June 5, Kate revealed Derek is now free from coronavirus but continues to fight against the damage inflicted on his body
On July 5, Kate revealed Derek has woken from his coma but he remains in a serious yet critical condition.
On July 8, she announced she would be returning to GMB, after being urged by doctors to ‘get on with life’ during Derek’s recovery.
She added that Derek had ‘opened his eyes’ after waking from his coma, but has been told his recovery could take years.
On July 13, Kate returned to GMB for the first time since Derek was hospitalised.
On July 28, Kate revealed she’d paid an ‘extra emotional’ first visit to Derek, and admitted she’s ‘frustrated’ by his slow progress.
She told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: ‘It is a very desperate situation, it’s very very difficult, of course there’s fantastic hope he’s still alive, the doctors do keep saying it’s a miracle he’s still alive.
‘I was speaking to a doctor yesterday who said he’s sick as anyone I’ve ever seen in 35 years of medicine, and some of those people who were as sick as him aren’t here.
‘Six times they said he’s not going to make it, and obviously you couldn’t visit. So he’s been very very sick, but it’s a new disease, there’s no data, so what they can say is it’s great he’s here.
‘There’s flickers of hope, his lungs are starting to recover, his kidneys are doing better, his liver, but they don’t know how much better he can get.’
Asked whether there had been any explanation for why Derek had been so badly affected by the virus, Kate admitted doctors are still unsure.
She said: ‘There isn’t, he was a little bit overweight, I’m a bit of a feeder! Zero underlying conditions, he’s young comparatively, he’s 52, so there is no explanation.
‘I think what’s happened is at every stage they’ve been learning.
‘One of the wonderful things is that they’ve changed medical practices, they’ve changed pathways because of Derek.
‘I keep telling him on the Facetime he would be very pleased about that.’
Now that Derek has been declared COVID-free, Kate admitted she fears for the long-term damage the virus may have done, and whether that will affect Derek in his recovery.
‘When he went into hospital, I got some texts saying ”oh I’m definitely not gonna die, tell the children I’m doing great,” but there was a feeling of terror because he had COVID and suddenly it escalated.
‘And then suddenly it became everything, and each stage has been sort of a new terror and just when I thought we were moving forward suddenly it can now affect your body everywhere.
‘There’s a huge post-viral syndrome, damage done in ways we didn’t know. I was sitting with Dr Hilary and he said it’s the lungs, it’s respiratory you’re fearing from COVID.’
Kate also reiterated that doctors had urged her to ‘get on with life’ while Derek continues to recover, insisting she had to be present for their two children Darcey, 14, and Billy, 10.
‘I have had moments, you know when you get abs gripped with fear and everything was going so well, but it’s happened to the world it’s happened to everybody, in this time you’ve seen people, I know people, you know people who have been watching this show who have been diagnosed with terrible illnesses,’ Kate added.
‘The doctors are saying to me now, ”You’ve got to get on, you’ve got to get on with life”. For Darcey and Billy effectively right now, they’ve lost their dad, they haven’t, he’s there.. he’s not a presence as he should be in their lives.’
Kate’s husband has been in hospital since March, and while Kate sparked hope earlier this month by revealing he has awoken from a coma, the star has been told his recovery could take years.
She told Hello! ‘The doctors have been urging me not to put my life on pause. They’ve told me that I need to go back to work and create a routine in our lives again.
‘The children and Derek are all I’ve thought about and they’re the most important people in my life, but I must create structure and normality for the children, to clean the bath, put the plates in the dishwasher and tidy the house.
‘I also need to get back to work so that I can provide for the children and we can do things together, to make them feel that the light hasn’t gone out of their lives, that there’s hope for the future.’
During an appearance on GMB last month, Kate spoke about the start of Derek’s devastating illness, saying: ‘Derek had a painful shoulder for a couple months, and had been taking medication and having scans
‘He was due to have a steroid injection, he felt unwell and was home tutoring the kids. I got back and said ”you don’t you look right babe, I think it’s the painkillers.”
‘I just had this weird feeling, asked if he had a cough. He didn’t, he said ‘I think I’ve got weird sinusitis.” I rang the doctor, I said ‘you don’t look great, no real feeling that it’s COVID, he had none of those symptoms.’
‘Around the 29/30 March, I came home came in and said ‘god you look ill. He said he had a headache, numbness in his right hand, and was struggling to breathe,
‘I rang Dr Hilary (Jones) and tried to get through, he talked to Derek. He said put me back on, I think you need to call an ambulance. I said ‘I can’t believe I’m calling an ambulance’, I was very scared.’
Derek has previously credited Kate for saving him from depression which started during his career as a political advisor and led to a nervous breakdown and a stint in The Priory in the late 1990s.
After moving to Los Angeles for three years and retraining as a therapist, his friend GMTV’s political correspondent, Gloria De Piero, offered to set him up with her friend and colleague Kate.
Kate and Derek have been married since 2005, with the former lobbyist cheering his wife on for the duration of her stint on I’m A Celebrity last year.
Following her stint on I’m A Celebrity, the couple were planning to renew their vows in the coming months after Kate revealed Derek had proposed for a second time.
Touching: Derek has credited Kate for saving him from depression which started during his career as a political advisor and led to a nervous breakdown (pictured in 2006)