Kate Garraway’s husband Derek Draper has finally been able to return home after spending one whole year in hospital following side effects of Covid-19.
On Thursday, a friend of GMB star Kate revealed the TV favourite’s partner, 53, has reportedly been taken off machines and will receive round-the-clock care at their residence in North London – where he was driven to in an ambulance on Wednesday.
The news is set to be a huge relief for Kate and their two children, 11-year-old Billy and 15-year-old Darcey, as they have their father back at home.
Here’s a timeline of events – from the moment Derek was hospitalised to now – as he returns home to continue his recovery with his beloved family.
March 2020 – Derek first rushed into hospital
Kate first revealed that Derek was battling coronavirus on April 3 after being rushed to hospital on March 30.
Derek didn’t have the initial typical symptoms at all, like a fever and cough, and instead had numbness in his hand – while also experiencing headaches and breathlessness.
Kate called Dr Hilary Jones for advice, who told her to call an ambulance immediately after Derek struggled to hold his breath for longer than ten seconds.
He was rushed to intensive care and was said to be “seriously ill” with the virus and put into an induced coma.
To add to her agony, Kate wasn’t allowed to be with Derek in hospital due to the restrictions on visiting during the early days of the pandemic.
A rep for Kate said at the time: “Kate’s husband, Derek Draper, has been taken to hospital and is being treated in intensive care with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
“He was admitted on Monday and has since tested positive for the virus. Kate, hasn’t been tested, however she has also been displaying mild symptoms, also since Monday, and as a result has been on strict isolation with her children at home.”
On April 10 there was still no signs of a change in Derek’s condition, as Kate called it an “excruciatingly worrying time” for her family.
In a statement, she said: “Derek remains in intensive care and is still very ill. I’m afraid it remains an excruciatingly worrying time.
“The NHS team who have been working on him have all been extraordinary and I know that it’s only their professionalism, dedication and bravery that has kept Derek with us so far.
“I also know that they’re working just as hard on all the patients in their care.”
A week later Kate said Derek was in a “deeply critical” condition in intensive care.
She told her Instagram followers: “I’m afraid he is still in a deeply critical condition, but he is still here, which means there is hope.”
April 2020 – Derek fights for his life in coma
On April 23 it was much the same as she said Derek was “still critically ill in intensive care” but she was refusing to give up hope.
He was later placed into a medically-induced coma that lasted 13 weeks – which he woke up from in July.
The devastating news of Derek’s condition saw Kate take an extended leave from GMB to be with her family.
May 2020 – Kate forced to spend first birthday in years without her husband
On May 4 Kate spent her first birthday in years without Derek, before revealing he was “fighting so hard” to get better.
Then a week later Kate said she had been FaceTiming Derek with hope he can hear her.
He also missed later son Billy’s birthday due to being in hospital.
June 2020 – Kate fears her husband will never recover
On June 5 Kate revealed that Derek may never recover.
By this point Derek was free from coronavirus but was still dangerously ill because the bug had “affected him from the top of his head to the bottom of his toes”.
An MRI scan showed “he has damage everywhere, holes in his heart, his liver is impacted, and his pancreas . . . well, he’s now very, very diabetic which he wasn’t before”.
Kate added: “He’s been on kidney dialysis because his kidneys stopped functioning. And his nerves and his neurology have been affected by the virus, but the impact and the damage of that, they don’t yet know.
“He’s still being given breathing support, but the hope is that each day he will need less. They are watching him constantly, it’s like spinning plates. But whatever happens, we’re looking at months and months of rehabilitation.”
Doctors also warned that he could be unconscious forever.
July 2020 – Kate returns to GMB as Derek wakes up from coma
In July, Kate defiantly returned to the ITV daytime show, with her head held high.
At the same time, her husband had woken up from his deep coma.
Kate told Hello! magazine: “I really believe he can hear. When medical staff say, ‘Good morning, Derek,’ he sometimes opens his eyes. We and the doctors are doing everything we can so that he can start to recover.”
But doctors warned that Derek could be in a “minimum state of consciousness” for years.
Kate also shared that doctors urged her not to put her “life on pause” and that they told her to “go back to work and create a routine in our lives again”.
She also revealed how he’d lost a “huge amount of weight” and “looked so different” after nurses shaved the long beard he’d grown while in hospital.
Kate shared that she had been told on six separate occasions that Derek was dying.
The doting mum also revealed that she had “fought” to get him on a trial to receive a drug that was later proven to help coronavirus patients – but discovered that he had been the control sample, meaning that he never received the treatment.
When she returned to GMB as a presenter on July 13, Kate revealed her joy at how smoothly the day had gone – and said Derek was “stable”.
Kate had a difficult weekend after her tyre blew on the motorway as she drove the kids for the first time since Derek got ill.
On July 28 Kate said she had been to visit Derek but nothing had changed, as she admitted she was “desperate for a step forward”.
December 2020 – Kate and kids spend Christmas without Derek
As the festive period rolled around, Kate had hoped that she could form a bubble with her husband Derek for Christmas, but she admitted that she was unsure if it was possible.
A the time, she told Hello! magazine : “I’m lucky that Derek is still with us, and that we still have hope for next year, but it is quite hard to know how to really plan because we had very specific traditions that we would always go to Derek’s family on Christmas Eve, we would go to church, we would be with his family on Christmas Day and then come back to my family and I don’t think any of that will be possible because we need to stay close to Derek and the hospital.”
Kate spent the day with her children after speaking to them about how they can’t celebrate Christmas the way they normally do.
She continued: “I’ve been trying to talk to the children about sort of forming new traditions. I think we are going to try to have a ‘Christmas Season’ and accept that the day is going to be different, and so we will try and do lots of little things and sort of have a ‘Christmas Season’.”
Not only did Kate have to get through Christmas without Derek, who remained in hospital, she also had a disaster at home.
She revealed her house flooded during the festive season, threatening to ruin the big day even more.
Sharing a snap of her Christmas tree on New Year’s Eve, Kate thanked the people who came to her rescue.
She penned: “Well here we are folks – #newyearseve – the last day of a year few will be sorry to see the back of.
“Have been quiet for a while – getting through Christmas has been a challenge hasn’t it with all the emotions it stirs in our strange world & no where really to put them – except in hope.
“@emmawillisofficial & @marksandspencer who made sure we had #gorgeousfood for our Christmas dinner when I couldn’t get a delivery slot anywhere & the guys from @britishgas who spent hours on the phone helping me to get a fridge & freezer to put the food in.
“The guys from @skyhelp who talked me through getting our WiFi & tv working on Xmas eve.
“Your kindness & spirit is overwhelming . And all @itv & @global for their constant support.
“Sending love & virtual hugs to all of you who have sent messages – spreading the love is what will give us all a truly happy new year.”
April 2021 – Derek finally returns home
On Thursday April 8 2021, Derek finally returned home after being in hospital since March 2020.
But Kate and their children have reportedly been warned that Derek still faces a “long and gruelling” fight to full health but they are all “thrilled” that he is allowed to continued his recovery in their home environment.
A friend told The Sun: “Kate’s dreamt of this day for so long, and can’t thank wonderful NHS staff enough.”
They added: “The children, who have been so remarkably resilient, have been so, so happy to have their dad home. There have been a lot of happy tears from everyone.”
They added that Derek and Kate are stronger than ever following his worrying health battle, before adding: “She has been such a rock, and a total inspiration to everyone in Britain battling their own horror stories with the pernicious disease.”
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