London Defender

The Daily Mirror of the Great Britain

Kate Garraway’s husband ‘in terrible state’ more than 18 months after catching COVID

Kate Garraway says her husband Derek Draper is in a “terrible state” after suffering devastating effects of coronavirus – but he can now say the words “I love you”.

The TV presenter said COVID had affected her 54-year-old partner “from the top of his head to the tip of his toe” and he is still unable to fully communicate.

Draper, a former political adviser, fell critically ill after contracting the virus in March 2020.

I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! TV Show, Kate Garraway at the Versace Hotel, Series 19, Australia - 08 Dec 2019 - with husband Derek Draper. Pic: James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock
Image: Derek Draper pictured with Kate Garraway in December 2019. Pic: James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock

He returned home in April after more than a year in hospital, where he spent several months in a coma, but continues to need round-the-clock care.

According to the Mirror, Garraway tells an episode of Piers Morgan’s Life Stories airing tonight that coronavirus has “devastated” her husband.

“From the top of his head to the tip of his toe,” she said.

“His digestive system, his liver, his kidneys, his heart, his nervous system. We’re pretty sure that the inflammation did pass through the brain.

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“He still can’t communicate, he still has issues with mobility.

“Fundamentally, he’s in a terrible state. Look, he’s alive.”

Kate Garraway says doctors "don't know how much better" her husband Derek Draper can get
Image: Draper and Garraway have two children together

Garraway revealed Draper’s carers burst into tears after he said the words “hello” and “thank you” during a phone conversation with Morgan ahead of her interview.

“It’s moments like that that make you realise that he is in there,” she said.

“And we’ve had others – he will turn to me and say, ‘I love you.’

“He’s fought so hard to stay in this world and I’m not giving up on him ever. He will have moments of clarity and it’s like he disappears again.”

Garraway, who has two children with Draper, said her family’s ordeal had left her feeling as though she had walked “through a fiery furnace or fell down a rabbit hole”.

“The world went dark and still looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, really,” she added.

Garraway shared the story of Draper’s battle with coronavirus in the documentary Finding Derek, which won a National Television Award.

Piers Morgan’s final Life Stories airs tonight at 8pm on ITV.