Kate Garraway’s husband, Derek Draper, has returned home after spending more than a year in hospital being treated for Covid-19.
The 53-year-old had initially been admitted to hospital in March 2020 due to having difficulties breathing, and was soon thereafter placed in a coma.
Garraway appeared on Good Morning Britain (GMB) at 8am on Friday (9 March) to discuss the news.
‘He absolutely knew he was home’
When asked if Draper was aware that he was home, Garraway said: “When we came in the door, I could see two little faces, Darcy and Billy looking out the window, and they go “He’s here!” and they sort of ran out and ran forward and opened the door.
“[Derek] immediately burst into tears, and there was a lot of hugging and we got him inside and he absolutely knew he was home.
“He is responding all the time - what he’s not able to do is to sort of talk and say, what you might imagine Derek might say upon coming home this time last year, which is, “Why the hell is the place such a mess?”, it’s not like that.
“But he is absolutely responding and aware of where he is, and there’s just been so many little lovely moments, like I had been saying to him all the time during the Covid coma, “When you get home, you can have one of my casseroles!”, which he loves by the way, that’s not a threat!
“He loves casseroles, and he can swallow a bit now, I said right, let’s see if we can get you somehow round a kind of table with all four of us.”
‘It feels like the start of a huge chapter’
Garraway revealed that the moment she realised she was setting a dinner table for four instead of three had left her emotional.
She said: “As I was laying out the plates, I realised I was laying out four - makes me cry now.
“And Darcy is saying, “Oh we’re gonna put four spoons down” and it just feels like the start of a huge chapter, but a really, really big and important one.”
When asked about how much care Draper would require, Garraway explained the extent of the current situation.
She said: “So he can’t really move, we do need a lot of help, and it’s not just help with looking after him, cause it is 24 hour care, and I haven’t really slept as you can probably tell, and I will ease off, I’m just very aware at the moment and it’s a whole new team.
“He had probably gotten a little bit used to the people in hospital, and so it’s a new team now that are working with him and helping him to come through.”
‘A lot of adjustment’
“It’s going to take a lot of adjustment, but on top of the care side, there’s also the kind of very specialised therapeutic intervention which will have to come in to make sure that this isn’t just about getting him with us, it’s hoping that actually this will prompt something in him.”
When GMB host Ranvir Singh wondered whether being home would encourage a “speedy recovery”, Garraway responded that “even some recovery” would be great.
“He’s definitely sort of plateaued at this level, and obviously we’re hugely grateful for this level and not losing him, but we really want to see if we can move forward and we can get him speaking more and able to move more.”