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Kate Garraway’s family were ‘in tears’ as Elton John dedicates song to Derek Draper

Kate Garraway has thanked Elton John for his surprise tribute to her husband Derek Draper on stage at his farewell tour.

Former political lobbyist Draper contracted Covid in March 2020 and was placed in a medically induced coma for several months.

He woke up several months later, but was only able to go home in April 2021 and since then, has required around-the-clock care, provided by the ITV presenter and a team of healthcare professionals.

On Monday (17 April), Garraway, Draper and their two children Darcey and Billy were invited by John to attend his Farewell Yellow Brick Road live show, which he is performing at London’s O2 Arena all month.

During the show, John dedicated “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” to the “inspiring” couple, who he said had been “through hell” but had “never given up”.

Appearing on her Smooth Radio show the following day (18 April), the Good Morning Britain host explained that the message had been particularly special as “right up to the last minute”, she hadn’t known if it would even be possible for Draper to attend.

“It took weeks of planning and just days before, it looked like he would be too sick to attend,” she said. “But as soon as we got into the stadium and Elton went on stage, he started weeping tears of joy, and squeezed my hand so tightly.”

Garraway then explained that the noise had become “too much” for Draper, and she and the nurses had had to take her husband outside to relax.

They returned on Derek’s request – with her husband wearing ear defenders – and “it must have been fate as that was the exact moment Elton suddenly dedicated ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’ to Derek and his journey.”

“We were all in tears, the kids, Derek and even the nurses. It was completely unexpected,” she said. “People around us were so lovely and started clapping which was an extraordinary moment we will all treasure forever and Elton made it possible.”

John is currently performing his ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ show in London (Getty Images)
John is currently performing his ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ show in London (Getty Images)

The presenter said that she “can’t thank Elton and [husband David Furnish] enough” for the “magical” experience, adding: “His spirit is lifted and we’ll always have that special moment as a family, whatever the future holds.”

Last month, Garraway spoke frankly about the high cost of her husband’s 24-hour care, explaining that the “overall income for the family” has been affected because he can’t work anymore.

“As anyone with a loved one who is seriously ill knows, the costs go through the roof in so many ways,” she explained. “You have to make changes to your home and it affects your ability to work.”