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Kate Garraway was told husband Derek Draper ‘may have died’ in horrific hospital blunder

Kate Garraway has revealed she was told her ailing husband Derek Draper ‘may have died’ in a shocking hospital blunder as she called to check in on his progress.

The Good Morning Britain presenter’s husband, 53, remains in ICU almost a year after he was admitted to hospital with novel coronavirus.

TV personality Kate, 53, has told The Times that she was not only told that Derek ‘may’ have died, but also had to wait 24 hours for confirmation he was still alive.

Shocking blunder: Kate Garraway has revealed she was told her ailing husband Derek Draper ‘may have died’ in a shocking hospital blunder as she called to check in on his progress

Recalling the blunder, which happened last year, she said: ‘I was just sitting on the phone, waiting to know if he’d died or not.’

She was told over the phone: ‘He may have died. Somebody will call you back.’

Of waiting more than a day to learn Derek was still fighting, she recalled: ‘Then it turned out that somebody had died who had a similar name to his.’

Kate has has said she’s not sure if her husband will have ‘any kind of life again’, as he continues to fight the myriad of complications stemming from his COVID battle. 

Heartache: The Good Morning Britain presenter's husband Derek Draper, 53, remains in ICU almost a year after he was admitted to hospital with novel coronavirus. Pictured in 2019

Heartache: The Good Morning Britain presenter’s husband Derek Draper, 53, remains in ICU almost a year after he was admitted to hospital with novel coronavirus. Pictured in 2019

She said her husband’s current state is something from a ‘horror story,’ as she tries to come to terms with the possibility that his health battle could leave him suspended between life and death.

The star said to The Times: ‘The very worst moment was when they said he could be locked in forever. And I just thought, this is a horror story. I don’t know if he’ll ever have any kind of life again. We just don’t know.’

Derek was admitted to hospital in March after contracting the respiratory illness and was subsequently placed in a medically induced coma before he awoke in July.

The virus has wreaked havoc throughout his entire body, resulting in kidney failure, and liver and pancreatic damage. 

On more than one occasion his heart stopped beating, he battled bacterial pneumonia and fought multiple infections which punctured holes in his lungs. He is considered to be the longest surviving COVID-19 patient in the country.

Devastating: Kate has also confessed that she's not sure if her husband Derek will have 'any kind of life again', as he remains in hospital nearly a year after he was admitted with COVID-19

Devastating: Kate has also confessed that she’s not sure if her husband Derek will have ‘any kind of life again’, as he remains in hospital nearly a year after he was admitted with COVID-19

Kate – who shares children Darcey, 15, and William, 11, with her husband of fifteen years – admitted it is ‘shocking’ to see his current state, including his dramatic eight stone weight loss. 

She revealed that on multiple occasions the hospital told her: ‘Prepare yourself, he’s going to die.’ 

But the worst was yet to come as Kate had to learn to accept the possibility that Derek could be frozen indefinitely between life and death.

‘They said, ‘It’s highly unlikely he will make a good recovery,’ Kate recalled the comment from doctors while they confirmed they couldn’t rule out a ‘reasonable recovery.’

When she asked what that would look like, the mother-of-two was told that being able to lift a hairbrush would be an example of a ‘reasonable recovery’.  

Trying to make sense of Derek’s current condition, Kate said it appears he is in an ‘ocean of unconsciousness,’ and only manages to rise to the top for air on rare occasions. 

However she did note some tentative progress with her husband during the Christmas period. As she pretended to forget her accountant’s name, Derek was able to fill in the blank and vocalise the name. 

He also heartbreakingly mouthed the word ‘pain’ in October. 

By the end of last year, he had had reportedly made some small steps towards recovery.  He was able to breath naturally throughout the day and was able to swallow his own saliva – despite still being fed by a tube through his stomach. 

Derek no longer required kidney dialysis and had managed to increase his movement on one side, allowing him to move his glasses on his nose. 

Sad: Kate – who shares Darcey, 15, and William, 11, (pictured in 2019) with her husband of 15 years – admitted it is 'shocking' to see his current state, including his eight stone weight loss

Sad: Kate – who shares Darcey, 15, and William, 11, (pictured in 2019) with her husband of 15 years – admitted it is ‘shocking’ to see his current state, including his eight stone weight loss

He was even able to recognise some faces and add snippets to conversation before sinking back into the deep waters of his unconscious mind.

She is still not allowed to visit her husband due to coronavirus restrictions. 

Kate said she tried to keep his hopes up by promising things would improve, but tragically his only response was: ‘How?’ 

When Boris Johnson enforced a new lockdown in December, Kate wasn’t able to see Derek at all, as she revealed his health worsened ‘dramatically,’ counteracting the progress they had made. 

‘I have tried to sort of wake up from that and think about the future,’ Kate added. ‘But nobody can tell you what the future is.’ 

Kate is set to host an ITV documentary about her husband’s battle with COVID-19.  

Finding Derek will air on 23rd March, and will show Kate giving an ‘unflinching account’ on the past 12 months. 

In the special one-off film, Kate will offer an ‘intimate insight’ into coping with the impact of Covid-19 on her family, as well as meeting survivors of the disease.

ITV said in a statement: ‘Kate offers an unflinching account of the profound effects on her family and on others as she opens up on camera for the first time on the reality of the past 12 months.  

‘As Kate lays bare in the film, her family, along with many others who have suffered the effects of the virus, is now facing the reality of adjusting to a very different way of life to the one they lived before the pandemic hit.’

While Derek no longer has coronavirus, the disease has left him suffering from multiple health conditions including diabetes and holes in his heart and lungs.

Finding Derek: Kate is set to host an ITV special about her husband Derek's battle with coronavirus, and the programme is set to air on 23rd March

Finding Derek: Kate is set to host an ITV special about her husband Derek’s battle with coronavirus, and the programme is set to air on 23rd March

During one of her darkest moments Kate was told her husband may ‘never come out of a coma’ amid his ongoing battle.  

Derek has regained minimal consciousness from his medically induced coma and while he has not been speaking, he heartbreakingly mouthed the word ‘pain’ in October last year. 

Last week, the Smooth presenter shared her heartache about not being able to visit her husband due to coronavirus restrictions.  

She said to her co-host Ben Shephard: ‘Well, I haven’t been able to see him, Ben. I haven’t seen him since Christmas, which of course means he’s back into a situation where he’s looking at strangers in masks…  

‘And I think that’s the situation for everybody, they’ve got somebody in the hospital at the moment, it’s not unique. It’s tough… 

Worry: During one of her darkest moments Kate was told her husband may 'never come out of a coma' amid his ongoing battle

Worry: During one of her darkest moments Kate was told her husband may ‘never come out of a coma’ amid his ongoing battle 

‘It’s also the same for people in care homes. And when you’re someone like him who is dealing with a consciousness problem and trying to emerge, I can’t help but fear it’s not helpful.’ 

In September, Derek, passed the grim milestone of becoming the longest patient battling coronavirus in hospital in the UK, with doctors telling Kate that Derek’s infection was the ‘highest they had seen in a patient who had lived’.  

Reflecting on her last hospital visit with their children in December, Kate admitted the family reunion was ‘heightened with emotion’ because they saw how Derek had been ravaged by the virus. 

‘It was very heightened with emotion, because he’s very changed,’ she told viewers.  

‘So all the routines that we’d normally do, it was one of those moments that it was so wonderful but also it amplified how sad everything was. 

‘And how different it is. But it was still fantastic, and we’re very grateful to have had that opportunity.’

A timeline of Derek’s coronavirus battle  

MARCH  2020

Kate revealed she and Prince Charles had got ‘relatively close’ at the Prince’s Trust Awards on March 11 – Charles was diagnosed with coronavirus in mid-March.  

She said: ‘Around the 29/30 March, I came home came in and said [to Derek] ‘god you look ill.’

‘He said he had a headache, numbness in his right hand, and was struggling to breathe,

‘I rang Dr Hilary (Jones) and tried to get through, he talked to Derek. He said put me back on, I think you need to call an ambulance’

Derek, 52, was taken into hospital on March 30 and remained in an unresponsive condition. 

APRIL  

Kate and her children isolated at home after she displayed ‘mild symptoms’.

Kate said: ‘Derek remains in intensive care and is still very ill. I’m afraid it remains an excruciatingly worrying time.

‘I’m afraid he is still in a deeply critical condition, but he is still here, which means there is hope.’ 

MAY 

Kate said: ‘The journey for me and my family seems to be far from over as every day my heart sinks as I learn new and devastating ways this virus has more battles for Derek to fight. 

‘But he is still HERE & so there is still hope.’

That month, Kate and her family took part in the final clap for carers

She said: ‘I’ll never give up on that because Derek’s the love of my life but at the same time I have absolute uncertainty’

JUNE 

On June 5, Kate revealed Derek is now free from coronavirus but continues to fight against the damage inflicted on his body

JULY 

On July 5, Kate revealed Derek has woken from his coma but he remains in a serious yet critical condition.

On July 8, she announced she would be returning to GMB, after being urged by doctors to ‘get on with life’ during Derek’s recovery.   

She added that Derek had ‘opened his eyes’ after waking from his coma, but has been told his recovery could take years.  

On July 13, Kate returned to GMB for the first time since Derek was hospitalised.    

On July 28, Kate revealed she’d paid an ‘extra emotional’ first visit to Derek, and admitted she’s ‘frustrated’ by his slow progress.

AUGUST

On August 14, Kate reassured GMB viewers that Derek was ‘still with us,’ but it was ‘a waiting game.’ 

On August 19, Kate revealed she celebrated Derek’s birthday with their two children, and described the day as ‘challenging’ for her family. 

 SEPTEMBER  

At the end of September, Derek reportedly becomes the longest surviving patient with coronavirus after spending 184 days in and out of intensive care.

Kate reveals Derek has lost eight stone during his battle.

The presenter announces she is returning to her Smooth Radio show so Derek can hear her voice. 

OCTOBER

On October 30 Kate reveals that Derek has spoken for the first time in seven months, saying the word ‘pain’ to his wife, who watched on ‘in tears’ over FaceTime. 

Kate says a day later that her husband no longer needs a ventilator to breathe. 

NOVEMBER 

Kate reveals her family car has been stolen in latest ‘body blow’ to her family life, as kind-hearted fans offer their cars to help.

She says she feels ‘physically sick’ at the prospect of facing her first Christmas without Derek.

DECEMBER 

The GMB star tells viewers it is her dream to visit Derek on Christmas Day.

She also reveals she missed two weeks on GMB after her children were exposed to the virus, but thankfully she and the kids tested negative.

On December 17, Kate has an emotional conversation live on GMB with two nurses who treated Derek when he was first admitted to Whittington Hospital in North London. 

On New Year’s Eve she reflects on a ‘calamitous’ Christmas without Derek, as her house was flooded and she struggled to get a food delivery slot until her pal Emma Willis stepped in to help.

JANUARY 2021

Kate reveals she and her children got to visit Derek in hospital over the Christmas period, and it was the first time her family had seen him since he was hospitalised.

She also says she’s banned from seeing him due to new restrictions introduced during the government’s third lockdown. 

FEBRUARY 

Kate reveals she is unsure how much Derek will ‘ever be able to recover’ following warning from doctors that he may never wake from his coma 


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