Kate’s pal Clare:
“It’s amazing Derek’s home – but there’s still a long way to go”
SHE FOUGHT SO HARD TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN AND BELIEVES IT’S THE BEST PLACE FOR HIM
Her husband has spent over a year fighting for his life in hospital following his battle with COVID-19 – but last week Kate Garraway revealed the incredible news that
Derek Draper has finally returned home.
Kate, 53, cried tears of joy as she revealed on Good Morning Britain that her husband had moved back in and had been reunited with their children Darcey, 14, and Billy, 11, after more than a year in intensive care battling the effects of “long COVID”.
The TV presenter revealed how Derek “burst into tears” at the reunion, but although he is “aware” that he’s back home, he is still unable to speak.
TEARS & HUGS
She said, “‘When we came in the door and pulled up, I could see Darcey and Billy looking out the window and they ran out and ran to the door and he immediately burst into tears and there was a lot of hugging.
“He knew he was home. He is responding all the time, what he’s not able to do is talk. But he is responding and aware where he is. There have been so many lovely little moments – he can swallow a little bit now so I said, Let’s get you round the table for a little bit.”’
Last month saw the airing of ITV documentary Finding Derek, which was filmed in November and followed the presenter navigating life with Derek in hospital and being both mum and dad to their children.
And while Derek’s body has been ravaged by the virus – with his lungs, heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas all badly damaged – he is in a stable condition, conscious and aware, but unable to speak.
Viewers of the documentary saw how Derek was emotionally
struggling – with one scene showing Kate speaking to Derek over FaceTime where he broke down in tears and said he wanted his life to end.
But Kate’s best friend and TV presenter Clare Nasir now tells Closer that Kate truly believes that having Derek home will help with his progress and do wonders for his mental health.
Clare says, “Derek coming home is a milestone that Kate always envisioned happening – but something the doctors didn’t. But he has come home and it’s amazing – she fought so hard for this to happen because she really believes that home is the best place for him. He was improving before the third lockdown, when she could visit him – but in this recent lockdown, he hasn’t been able to see her and he hasn’t been doing as well. So she thoroughly believes that this is the right move – Derek is a real family man and homebody and there’s nothing in the world he loves more than being at home with his wife and kids.”
Kate has previously revealed how she’s spent the last few months adapting their North London home so Derek can receive round-the-clock care and all areas are accessible via wheelchair. And Clare says the renovations so far have been brilliant and Derek is settling in well.
She says, “Kate has done an incredible job on the house. There’s still work to be done – she’s having a lift installed and the garden made wheelchair accessible – but his room is ready. It’s amazing – he’s a big fan of art deco, so she’s styled it like that, and put his whiskey collection there in a cabinet. His bathroom is attached to his room and is a wet room, but she’s made it look so beautiful – not at all like a hospital wet room. It has beautiful intricate tiles and looking like a gorgeous ensuite. He’s currently staying in a room on the ground floor, but once the lift is installed, he’ll move into this bedroom.
“For months, Kate has used the bigger picture to get her through each day. She has just been projecting and envisioning a family dinner of them all sitting round the table – even if Derek can’t eat the food. But they did that, and there were tears and it was so lovely for them.
While Kate’s elated to be reunited with her husband, Clare says that she knows there’s still a lot of progress to be made in Derek’s recovery.
“But there are still so many ‘what ifs’ and uncertainties. There’s a long way to go – it’s still Everest to climb.
And taking care of Derek is extremely tough – he needs 24-hour care and they have nurses and specialists in every day to help. She has done courses on how to care for him, but she’s a full-time working mum, so she can’t do everything.
“She’s adapted her sleep pattern so she can be with him as much as possible, as well as fitting in her GMB schedule.
It’s been really tough, but she’s over the moon to have him back and thoroughly believes home is the best place for him. He’s surrounded by his home comforts and the people he loves most in the world.
“Hopefully the darkest days for Kate are over now. This latest lockdown was extremely difficult for her. But now she’s got Derek home, and as lockdown eases over these next few weeks, it’ll be amazing for Kate to have friends over in the garden. We’re planning on visiting in her garden in May for her birthday – we’re all going to make such a fuss of her, and it’ll be so incredible to see Derek too.”
By Daisy McLure