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Kate Garraway's husband's heartbreaking response as she promises things will get better

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Kate Garraway: Finding Derek teaser released by ITV

Emotional Kate admits in a documentary: “Derek is the sickest person the team of doctors have treated this year.” The Good Morning Britain star also tells of her fears for her 53-year-old husband’s future as he fights long Covid from his ICU bed. Kate, also 53, said in a trailer for the programme: “Is he going to be able to come back or will he be alive but no longer the person he was?”

It shows photos from the couple’s wedding in 2005 before the screen goes blank and a message reads: “One year later, Derek is still in hospital.” Derek, who is the longest surviving Covid patient in the country and has lost 8st, no longer tests positive for the virus.

But it has “ravaged” his body, Kate said, and left him with multiple health conditions including diabetes and holes in his heart and lungs.

Kate has given updates on her husband’s Covid battle over the course of the last year, and has taken some time off work to go and visit him.

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When she has returned to studios, she has had to fight emotionally to keep going. She admits she fears what her husband’s life will be like if he is able to leave hospital.

Doctors have told her he may be “locked in” – able to see and think but not move.


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Kate Garraway’s husband has been sick with Covid for a year (Image: ITV)

Kate said: “The very worst moment was when they said he could be locked in forever. 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.”

Derek, a former adviser to the Labour Party, was admitted to hospital last March after contracting coronavirus. He was placed into a medically-induced coma a month later before he awoke in July.

But the virus had wreaked havoc throughout his body, resulting in kidney failure, liver and pancreatic damage.

On more than one occasion his heart stopped beating, he battled bacterial pneumonia and fought multiple infections, which punctured holes in his lungs. Kate, who shares children Darcey, 15, and William, 11, with her husband of 15 years, admitted it was shocking to see his current state, including his dramatic weight loss.

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She revealed that on multiple occasions the hospital told her: “Prepare yourself, he’s going to die.”


Derek was admitted to hospital last March (Image: ITV)

During one incident, the TV presenter was told “he may have died” and that “somebody will call you back”. She then spent countless hours calling the hospital to get an answer, to no avail. When she did get through she discovered someone with a similar name had died.

But worse was to come as Kate had to learn to accept the possibility that Derek could be frozen indefinitely between life and death.

She revealed: “They said, ‘It’s highly unlikely he will make a good recovery’.”

When she asked what that would look like, she was told that being able to lift a hairbrush would be an example of a “reasonable recovery”.

Trying to make sense of her husband’s condition, the popular host said it appeared he was in an “ocean of unconsciousness”, and only rose to the top for air on rare occasions.

However she did note some tentative progress over Christmas.

kate garraway

Kate has released never before seen footage of Derek (Image: ITV)

As she pretended to forget her accountant’s name, Derek was able to fill in the blank and say it. He also heartbreakingly mouthed the word “pain” in October.

By the end of last year, he reportedly made some small steps towards recovery.

He was able to breathe naturally throughout the day and could swallow his own saliva, despite being fed by a tube through his stomach. He also no longer required kidney dialysis and had managed to increase his movement on one side, allowing him to move his glasses on his nose.

He was even able to recognise some faces and add snippets to conversations before sinking back into the deep waters of his unconscious mind.

Kate, who is video-calling him, is still not allowed to visit him in person due to coronavirus restrictions.


Kate is not allowed to visit Derek in person (Image: ITV)

She said she tried to keep his hopes up by promising things would improve – but tragically his response was: “How?” The documentary, called Finding Derek, will show Kate giving an “unflinching account” of the past 12 months.

In the one-off film, she will talk about the impact of Covid-19 on her children, as well as meeting survivors of the disease.

Last night, an ITV spokesman said: “Kate offers an unflinching account of the profound effects on her family and on others as she opens up on camera.

“As Kate lays bare in the film, her family, along with many others who have suffered the effects of the virus, are now facing the reality of adjusting to a very different way of life to the one they lived before the pandemic hit.”

Finding Derek will be shown on ITV next Tuesday at 9pm. 

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Kate Garraway's husband's heartbreaking response as she promises things will get better
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