Kate Garraway: Caring For Derek
You can run but you can’t hide from Kate Garraway at the moment – perhaps she should be one of the hunters taking part in Celebrity Hunted over on Channel 4. The famous participants wouldn’t last two minutes.
As well as popping up on Good Morning Britain, the show she has co-hosted since 2014, she’s also recently taken over presenting duties on chat show Life Stories from her former GMB colleague Piers Morgan.
Not that we’re complaining about her omnipresence because she’s a warm and comforting sight on our screen. And it’s those aspects of her personality which have no doubt proved vital to her over the course of the past two years, ever since her husband, political advisor-turned-psychotherapist Derek Draper, contracted Covid-19.
He was hospitalised in March 2020 and remained there for just over a year. Although he eventually became free of the virus, he is believed to have become Britain’s longest-surviving coronavirus inpatient, the illness having caused long-lasting damage to his organs.
Shortly before Christmas, ITV broadcast Finding Derek, a moving documentary in which Garraway revealed how she and her family – including the couple’s two children, Darcey and Billy – have coped with his illness. It was applauded by critics and viewers alike.
Now Garraway is hosting a follow-up, detailing what has happened since Derek left the hospital, charting the period from April 2021 to Christmas. She called his return home “the biggest gift”, but admitted while speaking on Good Morning Britain a few weeks ago that there was still a “long, long way to go” with regards to his recovery.
She added: “Obviously, he still has extraordinary problems with communication, mobility is very limited, massive problems with fatigue. It’s kind of hard to get your head around really. But we have still got fears. And still hugely grateful for everyone that kept him alive and saved his life thus far.”
Garraway has also been keen to applaud others who have contributed to her husband’s care.
“Since he’s been home, people in the community – friends, incredible family all around – have been amazing. But the teams that have come out to help, the nurses, the therapists, and most extraordinary, the carers, have been phenomenal. It’s just amazing. I’ve always thought the whole world of caring, local authority and the agencies are amazing. But I’ve got a whole new thing. So thank you very much to everybody.”
We’ll get to see those people in action during the programme, which although told from a very personal angle, reveals just how valuable social care is – and why it provides such a crucial lifeline for so many people.
Garraway also visits old friends Bobby and Julie, whose situation is similar to her own, to find out how they are coping with the effects of long Covid and the changes they have been forced to make. Both couples, it seems – as well as countless more we’ll probably never hear about – are finding new ways to both live, love and be loved.
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