Kate Garraway's children Darcey and Billy reflect on Derek recovery
‘It’s just scary in the way of thinking we might lose him’: Kate Garraway’s children Darcey, 15, and Billy, 11, reflect on father Derek’s Covid recovery
Kate Garraway’s children Darcey, 15, and Billy, 11, reflected on their father Derek Draper’s slow recovery from coronavirus in documentary Finding Derek.
The Good Morning Britain presenter, 53, filmed every step of Derek’s year long battle with COVID-19 following his hospitalisation with the respiratory illness in March 2020 with the fly-on-the-wall programme aired on Tuesday.
During the emotional hour-long documentary, Kate’s two children admitted it was ‘scary’ that they could lose their father and that they just want him ‘back’.
Sad: Kate Garraway’s children Darcey, 15, pictured, and Billy, 11, reflected on their father Derek Draper’s slow recovery from coronavirus in documentary Finding Derek
The documentary, filmed at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, focused on Derek’s plight after falling gravely ill with the virus and Kate’s desperate battle to care for her husband while planning for an uncertain future.
In footage filmed over the summer, Darcey admitted she has not ‘thought the worse’ while Billy noted that they don’t know whether their dad will ‘get better or not’.
Darcey said: ‘I’ve not really thought the worse, I’ve always said he’s going to get better, he’s going to get back – all of this stuff.
‘They say that we’ve heard rumours he will get back, hopefully, before the end of next year but we really don’t know at all.’
Heartbreaking: The Good Morning Britain presenter, 53, filmed every step of Derek’s year long battle with COVID-19 following his hospitalisation with the respiratory illness in March 2020 with the fly-on-the-wall programme aired on Tuesday (pictured in 2019)
‘I really want him back’: During the emotional hour-long documentary, Kate’s two children admitted it was ‘scary’ that they could lose their father and that they just want him ‘back’ (Billy pictured)
Billy then showed off his Lego collection from his birthday, he said: ‘Dad usually does Lego with me the most but since dad is not here… I’ve started to do it myself.’
Billy joked that Derek is a ‘big kid’, he added: ‘I really want him back but we don’t know if he’s going to get better or not. So…’
Darcey was then asked whether they expected their father to return home for Christmas.
The family were able to visit Derek over the festive period, it was the first time they had all seen him since he was hospitalised.
She said at the time: ‘I hope so… it’s hard, he might still be hooked up to things he needs to help him survive.’
‘Scary’: Darcey was asked by the interviewer whether it was ‘scary’ seeing her father in hospital, to which she said: ‘I mean it’s not really scary, it looks scary. It’s just scary in the way of thinking we might lose him.’ (pictured in 2019)
Darcey was asked by the interviewer whether it was ‘scary’ seeing her father in hospital, to which she said: ‘I mean it’s not really scary, it looks scary. It’s just scary in the way of thinking we might lose him.’
Kate noted that making sure their two children were ‘okay’ helped her to ‘gain control’ during Derek’s slow recovery.
It comes after Kate discussed her new documentary on Good Morning Britain ahead of its airing on Tuesday evening, where she admitted it was important for her to remain upbeat for the sake of her husband.
She said: ‘The footage you see was recorded by me personally. After six months we got an iPad into the hospital with the idea of bringing him out so I could talk to him while he was in the coma and have some sort of voice recognition.
‘It was so emotional for me. It was all I could do not to fall apart, and give him a positive energy, not a sad energy.’
Sad: Kate – who shares Darcey and William (pictured in 2019) with her husband of 15 years – admitted it is ‘shocking’ to see his current state, including his eight stone weight loss
She added: ‘The moments you see are the moments where he is getting more conscious and can react, and also Derek has devoted his life to mental health since leaving politics because he’s a psychotherapist, so I feel that he would want his journey to be told. He would like to be here telling it with me. ‘
Reflecting on her decision to film the documentary, Kate admitted she wanted to use her platform as a presenter to help those who have been most affected by the virus, which has so far killed 126, 172 people across the United Kingdom.
She said: ‘First of all I do have a job that puts me on the TV and radio and there were many months where I was locked in that bubble that we all have been in because of COVID restrictions and that was a very private time.
‘When I got back to work I was moved by people’s reactions. I was contacted by people who said you’re talking about what I’m going through and it’s so great to hear, not just with COVID but with other long term situations that they are facing with potentially a life loss at the end of it. So this story, I thought I have a chance to tell it where they don’t.’
The presenter also reiterated that she will not walk away from her day job in order to provide round the clock care for Derek when he is released from hospital.
Heartbreaking: The documentary, filmed at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, focused on Derek’s plight after falling gravely ill with the virus and Kate’s desperate battle to care for her husband while planning for an uncertain future
Contact: An emotional Kate is filmed as she video-calls her husband from home following his return to consciousness
She said: ‘I’m not going anywhere! In fact the reality is, is that ITV and Global and Smooth radio, everybody has been so supportive and to be honest being here has kept me sane.
‘Not just because you’re all amazing supporters but people at home are so supportive and it’s a slice of normal, it’s a slice of life before.
‘The truth is as much as I like to think I have all the answers sometimes, Derek doesn’t need me, I’m not the person to care for him.
‘I will obviously be there completely, 100% if that would make a difference but actually what Derek needs is specialist, professional, medical support ongoing because there is a good chance he can improve but we need to make sure that support is there now for that to happen.
‘Whether that be remaining in hospital or whether that be something else – I would like to be home – but it is not just a case of you know I would want to sit there and hold his hand but people in this situation need expertise and I’m not an expert.’
Speaking out: Reflecting on her decision to film the documentary, Kate admitted she wanted to use her platform as a presenter to help those who have been most affected by the virus, which has so far killed 126, 172 people across the United Kingdom
Despite radical changes to his physical appearance, Kate admitted those who know Lancashire born Derek will be able to see that his personality is still very much present.
She said: ‘There are moments where I think people who know Derek will know he’s there, and for a while that was part of the horror… is he still there?
‘There’s even some Chorley in there. Even COVID can’t take Chorley out of the man!’
Kate also praised the couple’s children for their ability to cope with the unexpected and abrupt change to their home-life over the last 12 months.
‘They are fundamentally extraordinary,’ she said. ‘They have coped tremendously well. They cope with it in their different ways. They’ve both seen the documentary. I was comforted by the fact that they’ve seen a lot of things that may be a shock to others as they’ve spoken to him on FaceTime.
‘They watched it back, and Billy said ”I can’t believe they got me on the trampoline before I mastered a backflip!” When he said that, I realised we were OK. It’s a compliment to Derek as he’s instilled so much confidence in them.’
She added: ‘This time yesterday last year, terrible things happened. It’s affected everyone in different ways. We’ve all been through something, so hopefully we can stick together. Please realise we are still smiling. Love to all of you, and love to Derek.’
Kate previously recalled the ‘devastating’ moment her husband told her he feared he couldn’t go on while he was in hospital with coronavirus.
The presenter told The Mirror: ‘After that call, it was then time to go into GMB and go on air, having been up all night, it was a tough night actually.
‘But everyone at ITV has been so incredibly supportive. I managed to get through. During this whole time, working on GMB and Smooth Radio has helped me to keep going and keep my spirits up.’
While Covid is no longer in Derek’s system, the virus left him battling kidney failure, liver failure, heart failure and damage to his pancreas.
Kate added: ‘And in the end, I said to him, “Just stay with me, I’m going to keep talking to you”. And he was obviously exhausted. Because that’s the other thing, is that the tiniest thing completely exhausts him.’
Health battle: While Covid is no longer in Derek’s system, the virus left him battling kidney failure, liver failure, heart failure and damage to his pancreas
The broadcaster said that even Derek voicing his feelings like that would have taken a huge amount out of him as he has such little energy.
Kate spoke to her husband on the drive into work that day and then told the doctor’s to put on Good Morning Britain so he could see her.
The presenter first invited a film crew into her home last September with the hope that the film would end with Derek returning home.
But seven months later, the documentary will instead focus on Derek’s year in hospital as well as the many months of recovery that are left.
Derek has lost eight stone amid his health battle with Kate revealing the children have not seen him in person at all this year.
She added the kids did visit Derek over Christmas and described it as a ‘shock’ to see the physical change in him.
Kate has made the ground floor of her home wheelchair accessible and is looking ahead to visiting Derek in hospital as soon as lockdown is eased.
The star, who acknowledges there is still a long way to go in Derek’s road to recovery, thinks the couple’s relationship may be changed forever.
The presenter said he will behave differently and be physically different but she thinks his return may be a ‘beautiful thing’ as they will have the chance to fall in love all over again.
During an appearance on The One Show on Thursday, Kate said Derek is ‘trapped in the middle ground’ as he is sometimes able to communicate with her before slipping out of consciousness.
Kate said: ‘One of things I’m here to talk about is the documentary and what you will see is that this time last year, I was, like a lot of us, wondering what was coming our way.
‘I was fearing the worst, on air reading headlines about the earliest cases of people contracting coronavirus and then I suddenly found myself right in the middle of it.
Heartbreaking: Viewers then see Kate vowing to save Derek as she helped to bring him back from his lowest point back in November (pictured together prior to Derek’s coronavirus battle)
‘And I’d say there was weeks and months of living minute by minute, wondering if I was going to get the call to say whether he lived or died.’
Kate went on to explain that while Derek has survived COVID, he is ‘trapped in the middle ground’.
Derek was admitted to hospital in March after contracting the respiratory illness and was subsequently placed in a medically induced coma before he awoke in July.
She said: ‘Derek is an extreme case, he has a prolonged disorder of consciousness which means that there is some reaction.
‘It’s not like what we see in movies where people are lying in a vegetative state, you know you can look at his eyes and before Christmas there was a lot of progress with some words and communication.’
Derek is considered to be the longest surviving COVID-19 patient in the country.
On more than one occasion his heart stopped beating, he battled bacterial pneumonia and fought multiple infections which punctured holes in his lungs.
Kate said: ‘What I feel like is that I’m on a life boat somehow and he’s coming up and down. You’re on this precipice trying to hold onto him.
‘There’ll be moments where he bubbles up and you have contact with him on FaceTime because of the Covid restrictions.
‘It feels like you’re going to have to fill him with so much positivity because he’s going to sink down.’
The GMB host said there will be ‘heartbreaking moments’ in the documentary, as when he does regain consciousness, viewers will see ‘what must be agony for him’.
Kate continued: ‘His brain has always been his best friend. Suddenly his brain is no longer his best friend and he’s fighting to get out.It’s very, very tough. But if it’s tough for me, it must be tougher for him.’
Kate Garraway: Finding Derek airs on ITV on Tuesday at 9pm.
DEREK DRAPER’S CORONAVIRUS BATTLE
March 30, 2020: Derek is admitted to a London hospital after testing positive for the novel coronavirus COVID-19, little more than a week after Britain enters its first national lockdown
April 3, 2020: Derek is admitted to intensive care four days after his hospitalisation. As his condition steadily worsens, he falls into a coma.
May 28, 2020: Kate reveals that Derek remains in a coma and is continuing to be cared for by NHS professionals.
June 5, 2020: The presenter tells Good Morning Britain viewers that Derek is “Covid free”, although the family are unsure if he will ever recover from the ravages of the illness.
July 5, 2020: Kate reveals that Derek has finally woken from his coma and has opened his eyes – her first communication with her husband since March
July 13, 2020: Kate resumes her presenting role on Good Morning Britain after taking time off amid Derek’s ongoing illness.
July 14, 2020: Kate tells viewers she is preparing to visit Derek in hospital for the first time.
July 21, 2020: Derek hears Kate’s voice after nurses play Good Morning Britain in his hospital room. During her appearance on the show Kate confirms she is preparing to visit him for a second time.
August 19, 2020: After being absent for three days Kate tells viewers she has tried not to break down after being kept apart from Derek on his 53rd birthday.
September 10, 2020: Kate and Derek remain apart during their milestone 15th Wedding Anniversary , with the presenter unable to visit her husband.
September 11, 2020: Kate reveals Derek is still unable to speak but admits plans to visit him in hospital for a belated anniversary celebration.
September 29, 2020: Derek’s six-month long battle against COVID-19 becomes one of the longest known cases in the United Kingdom.
October 30, 2020: Derek is finally able to communicate verbally after 214 days in hospital. His first word – “pain.”
January 7, 2021: Kate reveals her two children saw Derek for the first time since he fell ill during the Christmas period
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