ITV presenter Kate Garraway has given an emotional interview to mark 12 months since her husband Derek Draper fell ill with coronavirus and was admitted to hospital.
Recounting what she calls a ‘horror story’, the Good Morning Britain host explained what life has been like for her and her family over the past year.
She told the Sunday Times Magazine : “The very worst moment was when they said he could be locked in for ever. And I just thought, this is a horror story.
“I don’t know if he’ll ever have any kind of life again. We just don’t know.”
While Derek, 53, no longer has coronavirus, his body was completely ravaged by the disease and he remains in hospital, with Kate and their two children having no idea when, or if, he will be able to return home.
After being put in an induced coma last March the virus caused havoc throughout Derek’s entire body, resulting in kidney failure, liver and pancreatic damage. He has holes in his lungs from pneumonia and has lost 8 stone.
When the drugs causing the coma were removed, Derek did not wake. At one point, Kate was wrongly told he may have died after a hospital worked mixed him up with another patient.
Kate, also 53, called the physical changes in her husband ‘shocking’ and said that while he was no longer in a coma, his moments of consciousness were fleeting, reports the Mirror.
“I feel like he is in an ocean of unconsciousness and sometimes he comes up to the surface,” she said.
While Derek can occasionally communicate, Kate says that within moments “the focus of the concentration disappears, and he’s gone.”
And Kate says when she told her husband he would get better, he replied simply: “How?”
Due to the lockdown Derek’s family have been unable to visit him for months. Kate last saw him in December and has been told his condition has deteriorated ‘dramatically.’
Kate suspects this is due to the lack of human contact, and retains hope that he will one day return home.
She has had her hallways widened for a wheelchair and installed a wetroom, even picking new tiles he would like.
While her husband of 15 years’ long illness has devastated Kate’s family emotionally, it has also had huge impacts financially. With her husband no longer officially in a coma, the self-employed telly star has no rights over his affairs.
She cannot access their joint savings or refinance their mortgage, or even upgrade their mobile phones without shelling out hundreds of pounds – all because Derek’s name was on the paperwork.
Kate admitted she had been in a ‘continual survival mode’ since Derek fell ill, and has relied on her friends for financial support when unable to work.
She hired a nanny to help care for their children, but says the nanny is currently on bereavement leave, having lost a member of her own family to coronavirus.
Kate said: “I am a de facto single parent now.”
She says the worst part of not having her husband at home, is having no one to share her interest in Darcey, 15, and William, 11.