Kate Garraway's husband Derek is HOME after more than a year battling Covid in intensive care

KATE Garraway’s stricken husband is back home after more than a year in hospital fighting Covid.

Derek Draper, 53, has been taken off all machines but will continue to receive round-the-clock care at the family’s adapted property in North London.

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A friend said: “Kate’s dreamt of this day for so long, and can’t thank wonderful NHS staff enough.”

Kate’s two children have cried tears of joy at the return of their dad Derek, a friend revealed.

The family has been warned that he still faces a “long and gruelling” fight to full health.

But Good Morning Britain presenter Kate, 53, daughter Darcey, 15, and son Billy, 11, are naturally “thrilled” that medical experts have decided he could leave.

The family friend said: “The children, who have been so remarkably resilient, have been so, so happy to have their dad home.

“There have been a lot of happy tears from everyone.

“This past year has given Derek and Kate an absolutely unbreakable
bond — she has been such a rock, and a total inspiration to everyone
in Britain battling their own horror stories with the pernicious disease.”

Derek, 53, was driven by ambulance to the couple’s North London home on Wednesday.

He will have round-the-clock care as he battles to overcome the devastating effects of Covid-19.

But he is now regularly responding, and has been taken off all machines and breathing apparatus.

Last night the friend said: “The professional medical teams who have been looking after Derek have decided to release him from hospital into 24-hour care at home.

“They noticed that his cognition and consciousness had stalled and, if anything, was going backwards over the last couple of months.

“Even though the doctors and nurses have done an incredible job, necessary Covid restrictions have meant visits from Kate and access to wider therapy have been very limited.

“Derek is a unique case. The medical experts are now looking at unique ways to give Derek every chance of making the best recovery, and agree that being surrounded by his wife Kate and their two children, is vital to reaching that goal.

“The hope is that by boosting his mental health — which being surrounded by his loved ones clearly will do — Derek’s physical health will be significantly bolstered too.

“Kate has been dreaming of this day for so long, and she can’t thank the wonderful NHS staff enough.

"They have all been magnificent to get Derek to this point.

“He still has a very long way to go, and medically they’re taking this a day at a time under strict medical supervision.

“But, unquestionably, this is the start of a whole new chapter for the family.

“After the hell they’ve been through, the family truly deserve this bit of hope and happiness.”

Former political spin doctor-turned-psychologist Derek has been confirmed as Britain’s longest surviving Covid hospital patient.

He was admitted with breathing difficulties on March 30 last year.

After being put on a ventilator, he spent months in a form of coma called PDOC — Prolonged Disorder of Consciousness.

In October, Derek uttered his first word — which heartbreakingly was “pain” — to express his discomfort.

Kate revealed that his body had been ravaged by the virus.

Doctors reported that he had been “universally affected” — meaning his lungs, heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas had all been hit by Covid.

And, at his worst, hospital staff feared Derek may remain in a semi-vegetative state forever.

The Sun can reveal that Kate — who has bravely continued working throughout much of her husband’s illness — has spent thousands of pounds adapting their home for his return.


She also faces medical bills running into the tens of thousands as Derek fights to get back to full fitness.

He is understood to be sleeping downstairs in a hospital bed, and will use a makeshift wet room for showering.

The friend added: “Derek is by no means entirely out the woods yet, and is still struggling to move or talk properly.

“The great fear is that he will have to return to hospital, but by raising his spirits, in conjunction with his ongoing medical support, the hope is he can make progress at home.

"Derek has a long and gruelling battle ahead.”

Since Derek’s plight came to light there has been an outpouring of support from the public for Kate.

Last month a moving ITV documentary, Finding Derek, left viewers in tears as cameras showed him smiling during a FaceTime call for the first time since falling ill.

Due to strict Covid regulations, neither Kate, the kids nor Derek’s elderly parents have been allowed to visit him much in hospital.


Kate was introduced to Derek through a mutual friend, ex-Labour MP Gloria De Piero, in 2004.

The couple met at London’s Claridge’s hotel and went on to marry the following year.

Wedding guests included Kate’s breakfast TV pals Fiona Phillips, Penny Smith and John Stapleton and former Strictly dancer Brendan Cole.

The couple were due to renew their vows to mark their 15-year anniversary last summer, but had to cancel due to Derek’s illness.


Star’s Brit grit

By Clemmie Moodie

IF anyone exemplifies true British pluck, it’s Kate Garraway.

Over the past 12 months, she has faced what we all feared — but only in our worst nightmares.

While Covid-hit Derek clung on for dear life in hospital, Kate kept her family together — home-schooling two kids, as well as holding down high-profile jobs on GMB and Smooth Radio.

I interviewed her in October and it was heartbreaking.

She remained stoically upbeat, so desperate to keep up the spirits of her family and those around her.

Most of us would have crumbled. Kate never did.

She is an inspiration to us all.

Two years ago Kate appeared on I’m A Celebrity . . .  Get Me Out Of Here! and reportedly insisted on wearing her wedding ring throughout her time in the Australian jungle — despite jewellery being banned on the show.

Lancashire-born Derek was a key figure in the New Labour movement under Tony Blair before going on to retrain as a psychologist.

His return home comes ahead of the release later this month of Kate’s memoir, The Power of Hope — billed as a “story of love, fear and never giving up”.

THE SUN SAYS

KATE Garraway’s had little to smile about for 13 months.

But we congratulate her on finally having her husband home.

Despite his condition, it makes sense for poor Derek to be among his loved ones as he continues to receive care.

The Sun can only salute Kate and her kids’ strength — and wish all of them every ounce of luck.

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