Kate Garraway reveals Derek Draper's secret trip to Mexico for COVID treatment

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Kate Garraway took husband Derek Draper to Mexico for ground-breaking treatment. (ITV)
Kate Garraway took husband Derek Draper to Mexico for potentially ground-breaking treatment. (ITV)

Kate Garraway has revealed her husband Derek Draper secretly travelled to Mexico to take part in a new medical trial as he struggles to recover from COVID.

The Good Morning Britain presenter — who shares an update on her husband’s long battle with the coronavirus in new ITV documentary Caring For Derek — revealed Draper, 54, underwent oxygen and pressure tests to check he would be able to cope with the 16 hour flight.

Garraway, 54, told GMB: "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.

"I can't say too much about it because I'm bound not to. 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.'"

Read more: Kate Garraway found 'a new way to be in love' with husband amid recovery

EMBARGOED PICTURE: FOR PUBLICATION ON TUESDAY 15TH FEBRUARY 2022
From Flicker Productions

KATE GARRAWAY: CARING FOR DEREK
Thursday 24th February 2022 on ITV 

Pictured: Derek Draper lying in bed at his London home  

In 2020 Kate Garraway and her family wanted nothing more than to get her husband Derek back home. Little did she know what the reality of this meant. Caring for Derek is the follow up to the award-winning ITV film Finding Derek, shown in Spring 2021, which charted how Derek Draper's family coped while he was critically ill in hospital with Covid-19. 
 
This time weÕre with Kate and the family from the first moments Derek arrives home in April, and in the build-up to Christmas 2021 - a period of considerable upheaval and uncertainty. Caring for Derek is honest, unflinching and doesnÕt sugar coat the reality of being a carer as we see Kate tell the camera ÔWe have to make this real as this is the reality of life for people who are caring, and itÕs not prettyÕ
 
We follow Kate as she navigates the myriad challenges of the social care system and its complexities that seem to be built in. This comes at a time when the debate about social care is at its loudest, and this film quietly shows the reality of what day to day life is like becoming a carer. 
 
Whereas Finding Derek reflected DerekÕs absence from the family home, this new film captures his return and how that has restored some hope for Kate and her children without shying away from what the challenges of the new normal might be and the impact it has on everyone involved. 
 
Mirroring the lives of carers across the country, we also see Kate getting support from family and friends including DerekÕs sister, Di, who helps her with some of the day-to-day duties and believes ÔyouÕve just got to celebrate the good daysÓ. And she catches up with old friends Bobby and Julie, whose situation has parallels with her own, to find out how theyÕre coping, sharing the hardship of no longer being just a wife but also a carer
 
Above all, this film follows Kate as she embarks on a new chapter in her marriage and family life, attempting to find a new way of living and a new way of loving, like millions of families across the country in the very same boat. 
 
Every year, countless Britons undergo the kind of seismic shift in circumstances that Kate and her family are dealing with Ð a life-changing injury or illness striking one person that has repercussions for every member of the family.  But the often more complicated tales of what happened next and the painstaking road to recovery remain largely untold. Until now. 

(C) ITV 

Photographer : Harry Page

For further information please contact Peter Gray
Mob 07831460662 /  peter.gray@itv.com

This photograph is (C) ITV and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme. KATE GARRAWAY CARING FOR DEREK or ITV. Once made available by the ITV Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the Transmission date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com
Derek Draper has been left bedbound as he suffered brain damage after contracting COVID-19. (ITV)

She added: "We are about less than a quarter of the way through this treatment.

"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."

The TV presenter flew Draper to the doctor's medical centre in Monterrey, Mexico, which was the easiest for them to travel to.

She said: "We hadn't really taken him out of the house at this point, and so it was very difficult to get him abroad...

"I want to say thank you to British Airways. Obviously, we funded our own trip, but they gave us so much support, as they do to so many people who need it, and they're a wonderful team."

Draper, 54, is bed-bound after contracting coronavirus in March 2020 and has been left with significant brain injuries.

He returned to the family home — where he lives with Garraway and children Darcey, 15, and Billy, 12 — in April 2021 and requires round-the-clock care.

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, husband Derek Draper and children Darcey and Billy in 2019. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Read more: Kate Garraway hoping for "a miracle" in Derek's recovery

Garraway revealed: "You get signs and flickers that he's absolutely there. Then you then get periods of extreme brain fog, and it's unclear if that is just fatigue, brain fatigue or the effects of Long COVID.

"But in the gaps in between he's 100 per cent Derek Draper."

Caring For Derek is the follow-up to Garraway's award-winning ITV documentary about Finding Derek charting his return home and the whole family's adjustment to his round-the-clock care.

Caring For Derek airs at 9pm on Tuesday 22 February on ITV.

Watch: Kate Garraway says her MBE was not for caring for Derek Draper

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