The Good Morning Britain presenter was back on the ITV breakfast show on Monday after a three-week absence and explained why she had “dramatically disappeared”.
Derek fell seriously ill with Covid in March 2020 and, despite now being free of the virus, he has suffered long-lasting damage to his organs and requires daily care.
He had been “in and out” of hospital in recent months “looking at ways to tackle the damage caused by Covid”, but subsequently contracted a “very severe” case of sepsis, which occurs when the body overreacts to an infection and starts to damage its own tissues and organs.
Speaking to co-host Richard Madeley, Kate said: “We haven’t really had any sort of medical eruptions, and then he just was really unwell.
“He’d come out of hospital the day before and [I] got a phone call from the person who was looking after him saying, ‘right, we’re really worried’, so I whizzed home, and it just sort of went ‘boom’ from there.”
She continued: “So it was really dramatic; brilliant work by the A&E, absolutely extraordinary because when you’ve got sepsis, the big challenge is (to) find the source of infection quickly and get the right antibiotics and his blood pressure was so low…”.
Having ruled out her husband having Covid-19 again, she said: “I did wonder if it was a urine infection but weirdly, we couldn’t get anything for a sample and they just went ‘kidneys’?
“And it was one of those questions that was so different from all the technical, it’s just like ‘what was in your mind?’ and I said that and it made them look at each other (and) say kidneys and unfortunately his kidneys were really badly infected, blocked.
“The challenge now is to save them, so that’s where we’ve been for the last three weeks.
“He’s still in hospital, not in intensive care, waiting for another procedure, looking really good.
“So fingers crossed on everything and particularly one kidney looking really good, just need to look at the other one, and so yeah, he’s still in (a) high dependency (unit).”
Kate added that it was “not clear yet really exactly why he’s only developed this, probably due to Covid, but that’s to come. The important thing is, is we’re back on the right side of it now.”
After originally contracting Covid, Derek was placed into a coma and spent a year in intensive care.
He returned to his family home in April 2021, where he has needed constant care.
Throughout Derek’s health issues, the daytime star has been candid when updating the public on his condition, and won praise in 2021 for the documentary Kate Garraway: Finding Derek, which won a National Television Award.
She followed this with a second documentary, subtitled Caring For Derek, earlier this year, showing how her family life had changed in the wake of his illness.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.