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Timeline of late Derek Draper’s condition as Kate Garraway pays loving tribute

Kate Garraway reveals her husband Derek Draper has died aged 56

Derek Draper and Kate Garraway in December, 2019. (Can Nguyen/Shutterstock)
Kate Garraway has announced her husband Derek Draper has died(Can Nguyen/Shutterstock)

Sadly Kate Garraway has announced her husband Derek Draper has died aged 56 following his battle with Covid. It has been almost four years since the former political advisor and lobbyist first fell ill.

Garraway's post was met with an outpouring of love on social media. She wrote on Instagram: "I’m sad to have to tell you all that my darling husband Derek has passed away. As some of you may know he has been critically ill following a cardiac arrest in early December which, because of the damage inflicted by Covid in March 2020, led to further complications. Derek was surrounded by his family in his final days and I was by his side holding his hand throughout the last long hours and when he passed.

"I have so much more to say, and of course I will do so in due course, but for now I just want to thank all the medical teams who fought so hard to save him and to make his final moments as comfortable and dignified as possible. Sending so much love and thanks to all of you who have so generously given our family so much support. Rest gently and peacefully now Derek, my love, I was so lucky to have you in my life."

Draper first fell ill with the coronavirus in March 2020. Here is a timeline of his health since he fell ill:

COVID-19

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Kate Garraway, with her husband Derek Draper and her parents Gordon and Marilyn Garraway, after being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her services to broadcasting, journalism and charity by the Prince of Wales during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle, on June 28, 2023 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Andrew Matthews - Pool/Getty Images)
Kate Garraway, with her husband Derek Draper and her parents Gordon and Marilyn Garraway, after receiving her MBE. (Getty Images)

Draper first fell ill with the coronavirus in March 2020, in the early stages of the pandemic. He was admitted to hospital and placed in a medically-induced coma. Garraway - who married the former political lobbyist Draper married in 2005 - told how doctors did not know how to treat Draper because COVID-19 was such a new virus. After over 200 days in hospital he said his first word, which was pain.

Hospital discharge

Kate Garraway, alongside her husband Derek Draper and two children Darcey, 13, and Bill, 10, arrives back at Heathrow Airport after the 2019 series of I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Kate Garraway and Derek Draper live with their children Darcey and Billy. (Getty Images)

Draper returned home to live with Garraway and their two children, Billy, 14, and daughter Darcey, 17, in April 2021, over a year after he was first admitted to hospital. Because of his severe disabilities, Draper required round the clock care, which Garraway opened up about in her ITV documentary Caring For Derek. The award-winning film showed viewers the day-to-day reality of being a carer, which involves mountains of laundry from seven bed changes a day. From when he returned home he was in and out of hospital.

Experimental treatment

In February 2022 Garraway revealed Draper had travelled to Mexico to take part in a new medical trial. She revealed: "It's all come about because of the first documentary. This is a doctor who works in the US who has been working for 30 years on clinical trials before COVID came about.

"When he saw the documentary he had already started helping people with the impacts of COVID and he saw Derek and said, 'I can help this man.' If this works it will be world hope that we get. It will help not just sufferers of Long COVID but all sorts of conditions. He is a very extreme case so he's useful as a trial, because if he can make progress with Derek he can help lots of other people."

Sepsis

Kate Garraway was tearful on This Morning. (ITV screengrab)
Kate Garraway has been open about the struggles of worrying about Draper's health. (ITV screengrab)

Draper developed sepsis in the summer of 2022 after taking an 'unexpected and frightening turn for the worse' which led to another spell in hospital 'fighting for his life'. And in October 2022 he developed the severe infection again.

In September 2023 Garraway told GMB viewers: "He's had a nasty infection this week that set him back a bit but we're on the right side of it, so that's good. There are so many people in the health system trapped in the web of it. People are not being taken care of in a system that's in trouble."

Herbal medicine

In 2022 the TV star revealed she had turned her back garden into a wellness space to help husband Draper's recovery, with sensory plants to relax him and medicinal plants to make into tea. After visiting Kew Gardens to learn about the medicinal benefits of plants, the TV presenter was inspired to grow three separate beds of herbal teas, aromatherapy plants, and those strong in antioxidants. She said: "I love the idea that there's plants that look good, smell good and do good. I hope it works."

Wheelchair fall

Kate Garraway and Derek Draper in their wellness garden. (ITV)
Kate Garraway and Derek Draper in their wellness garden. (ITV)

In January 2023 Draper was hurt when he slipped out of his wheelchair while returning home from hospital in a taxi. Garraway revealed at the time: "I was really lucky because the cab driver, black cab driver, that had a mobility access, his father he had cared for post a stroke. So he was really good at handling someone with that condition. So the two of us were hauling him back into the wheelchair, strapping him in and got him home."

Making memories

In April, Garraway and Draper were able to share a night out together to see Sir Elton John on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. He returned to hospital again shortly afterwards, but then was home in time for Earth Day to enjoy time in the garden with his family.

In July Draper was able to be at Windsor Castle to watch Garraway receive her MBE from Prince William in July. She shared on social media afterwards: "Tomorrow Derek is back in hospital and of course the daily struggles go on – but the fact that he was able to be part of Wednesday is to be treasured & can’t thank everyone in the NHS and all around him who love him for making it possible."

Speech development

<p>Kate Garraway shares the enormous amount of work involved in being a carer for her husband Derek Draper.</p>
Kate Garraway cares for husband Derek Draper at home with the support of round-the-clock carers. (ITV screengrab)

In June 2023 Garraway revealed Draper spoke in a whisper and was still unable to engage in a full conversation. But she shared the joy of sharing "fantastic moments" when he did communicate out of the blue. Garraway admitted: "It's things like that that really lift you up. But then the next day he just is completely still."

Ongoing treatment

In November 2023 Garraway revealed on Loose Women that Draper was back in hospital. She said: "Funnily enough he's actually back in the hospital at the moment. I haven't talked about this - but not for horrific drama, fortunately, because there have been lots of, as we all experience, referrals and cancellations."

The TV presenter admitted the family live in fear that he will take a turn for the worse. She said: "One of the challenges with Derek is we've never felt like he is safe, so every infection and rush back to hospital might be the moment he is taken from us. We are still hopeful he will improve but we have no clear timeline on this."

And just at the beginning of December she shared her hopes for a family Christmas at home with Draper.

Christmas

In the lead up to Christmas, sadly Draper took a turn for the worst after a reported heart attack. Good Morning Britain presenters Charlotte Hawkins and Richard Madeley sent their love and best wishes to their colleague Garraway and her family as they confirmed the reports. Hawkins told viewers: "We wanted to start with an update. You may have seen in the news over the weekend that Derek, Kate's husband, is sadly in a very serious condition at the moment."

Madeley said: "We just want to let Derek, Kate and of course the whole family know we are all here thinking of them, and we know many of you are as well, and that all of us send them our very, very best wishes at what is a very, very difficult time." Hawkins added: "It is indeed. Lots of love from all of us."

Kate Garraway pays tribute to her late husband

Garraway shared her heartache as she announced the news her husband Draper has died. She wrote on Instagram: "I’m sad to have to tell you all that my darling husband Derek has passed away. As some of you may know he has been critically ill following a cardiac arrest in early December which, because of the damage inflicted by Covid in March 2020, led to further complications. Derek was surrounded by his family in his final days and I was by his side holding his hand throughout the last long hours and when he passed.

"I have so much more to say, and of course I will do so in due course, but for now I just want to thank all the medical teams who fought so hard to save him and to make his final moments as comfortable and dignified as possible. Sending so much love and thanks to all of you who have so generously given our family so much support. Rest gently and peacefully now Derek, my love, I was so lucky to have you in my life."

Read more: Derek Draper