Kate Garraway has revealed that her husband Derek Draper fell out of his wheelchair after she attempted to take him home from hospital in a taxi.
Faced with a five-hour wait for an ambulance after being discharged from hospital, the presenter, 55, revealed she tried to speed things up by getting her spouse home herself as he continues to battle long Covid after contracting the virus in 2020.
Kate’s revelation came as she and co-host Ben Shephard discussed the lengthy wait times many patients have faced when calling an ambulance, with many booking taxis instead, despite advice against doing so.
‘Distressing moment’: Kate Garraway has revealed that her husband Derek Draper fell out of his wheelchair amid health woes which has left him sick with long Covid since 2020
Speaking on Friday morning, Kate was looking at the possibility of taxis being sent out to 999 calls.
GP Anita Rajaj, who works in Birmingham, argued that people should not be encouraged to jump in the back of a taxi, instead the emergency health services should be in a good position to take care of the volume of calls.
Kate said: ‘I understand Dr Anita and I think all of us would salute what you’re saying, but what would you advise as a GP – someone is facing a wait, frightened that it’s a cardiac arrest, not strong enough or they don’t drive. What would you advise?’
She then added: ‘What they’ve both raised is that the pressure is increasingly put on the individual to make medical decisions.
Loved one: Faced with a five-hour wait for an ambulance after being discharged from hospital, the presenter revealed she tried to speed things up by getting her spouse home
‘I’ve used a lot of cabs for Derek to go and from hospital appointments because the mobility services are very, very delayed. And ambulances are delayed.
‘But if you try and book an official car, you can sometimes be waiting five hours for them to bring you home from hospital.
‘He was in a lot of pain, it wasn’t sustainable – so we took a cab home from the hospital and we went over a speed bump and he slipped out of the wheelchair.’
Co-host Ben Shephard asked: ‘[Is it] something you never envisaged happening?’
Kate replies: ‘Well, it’s hard isn’t it? It’s hard to deal with. You want someone with you to manage that.
‘I was really lucky because the cab driver was a black cab driver that had a mobility access – his father he had cared for post a stroke.
Kate Garraway clashed with Labour frontbencher Emily Thornberry today over the treatment of her husband Derek Draper in a private hospital during his fraught battle with coronavirus
‘So he was really good at handling someone with that condition. The two of us were hauling him back into the wheelchair, strapping him in and got him home.
‘But I thought, “Gosh”, because there’s been many a time when taxi drivers say “I don’t want to deal with this”.
‘I’m not even sure I was meant to be dealing with this!’
When asked if she feels like she should have waited for emergency care, Kate said: ‘Well I don’t know because he was in such distress and pain.
‘I think you’re having to, all the time as individuals, make calls which really you know you’re not qualified for that and it’s very difficult.’
Kate did not specify when the incident happened. MailOnline has contacted her representatives for comment.
Earlier this week, Kate clashed with Labour frontbencher Emily Thornberry over the treatment of her husband Derek Draper in a private hospital during his fraught battle with coronavirus.
She challenged the Shadow Attorney General over Sir Keir Starmer’s radical plan to tackle the enormous backlog by outsourcing to private hospitals.
Asked whether the policy amounted to privatisation, Ms Thornberry insisted: ‘It’s not.
‘If you’re waiting six months to get your hip replaced and there aren’t enough beds in a National Health Service hospital and there are some beds in a private hospital, we’re saying the NHS will pay for surplus capacity in the private hospitals to get the waiting list down. It’s just completely pragmatic politics’.
In response, Ms Garraway said: ‘I know from personal experience because when Derek was first sick and he had to be moved to hospital, there were no spaces on any wards for him to go for the treatment he needed. And so at that time, effectively everything was nationalised.
‘But after a while, the private hospitals said that they couldn’t make it pay and therefore it came to an end, it reverted back. And so that seemed like a sensible way to go.’
Last month, an emotional Kate broke down as she discussed husband Derek’s health battle.
The Good Morning host admitted that there ‘is no end point’ to his care and her new way of life can be ‘exhausting’ for those around her.
The Good Morning Britain presenter challenged the Shadow Attorney General over Sir Keir Starmer’s radical plan to tackle the enormous backlog by outsourcing to private hospitals
Derek is one of the UK’s longest-suffering patients of Covid after being admitted to hospital with the virus in March 2020, only returning to the family’s London home in April 2021, where he receives round-the-clock care.
She told host Lorraine Kelly: ‘The thing is, when it’s a long battle like with Derek, there’s no end point and it can be exhausting for the people around me too. I know sometimes people say “oh she’s talking about that again” but what I’ve learnt is you only really know what it feels like when you’re in it.
‘And now I get contacted by thousands and thousands of people who make me feel less alone.’
Discussing Derek’s current state of health after being rushed into hospital with sepsis, she said: ‘It’s a long onslaught. I can see he has better days, he has worse days. He is thankfully at home now. It’s been a long battle to get him back home again’.
Derek is one of the UK’s longest-suffering patients of Covid after being admitted to hospital with the virus in March 2020, only returning to the family’s London home in April 2021, where he receives round-the-clock care