Kate Garraway has been warned not to put her life on hold as her husband, Derek Draper, continues to recover from coronavirus.
The TV star’s life came crashing down back in March when her husband of 15 years was hospitalised with the deadly virus and subsequently spent weeks in intensive care.
Now, despite news that he has regained consciousness from an induced coma, Kate admits the family is far from out of the woods yet. ‘The fight with the virus has been won and he’s still here but it has wreaked extraordinary damage on his body and we don’t know if he can recover from that,’ Kate admits.
But, with their two children – Darcey, 14, and William, 11 – to look after, Kate has been told she must try to continue with her life and return to work, all while never giving up hope on Derek…
While Kate, 53, is naturally ‘sick with worry’, she’s been told she must try to move on with her life while Derek, 52, recovers. ‘The doctors have been urging me not to put my life on pause. They’ve told me that I need to go back to work and create a routine in our lives again,’ she explains.
‘The children and Derek are all I’ve thought about and they’re the most important people in my life, but I must create structure and normality for the children; to clean the bath, put the plates in the dishwasher and tidy the house.’
Having been welcomed back to ITV after 14 weeks away, Kate says her return to work is about more than just re-establishing a familiar routine for her kids. ‘I also need to get back to work so that I can provide for the children and we can do things together, to make them feel that the light hasn’t gone out of their lives, that there’s hope for the future,’ she says.
Although Derek has woken up from the coma and is now testing negative for coronavirus, he faces a long road to recovery.
‘He is stable and I spoke to the nurses and they said they had put Good Morning Britain on and they felt he looked, because his eyes are open, he looked focused.’
But, with Kate’s hope comes a dose of realism. ‘Whatever happens next I’m afraid it is going to be a long road, with an uncertain end that isn’t even nearly in sight right now,’ she says.
‘He is very, very sick. It has affected him from the top of his head to the bottom of his toes.’
The devastating news of Derek’s ill health came just months after the couple – who tied the knot in 2005 – announced they’d be renewing their vows.
They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, and Derek fell in love with Kate all over again during her stint on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! last year.
‘When Derek came to meet me after I left the jungle, he was planning to propose to me again [with the ring, in front of the TV cameras],’ says Kate, ‘but he got overwhelmed and burst into tears.’
Now the celebration is on hold. ‘We’d planned the wedding for the end of summer, but I don’t suppose we’ll be booking anything now because we don’t really know what we can do,’ she admits. ‘The wedding is something wonderful to look forward to when this is all over. That’s what we’re trying to do – think of all the good things.’
Even Kate’s colleague, Piers Morgan, gushed over how well-suited the couple are.
‘What makes it so especially tragic is that in Derek she found her unlikely soulmate.
‘But the truth is that she and Derek, although by their own admission very different people, are actually perfectly suited and have a wonderfully strong and happy marriage.’
There’s no doubt Kate and her two children are going through a living hell right now, but despite the uncertainty, the one thing they’re not giving up on is hope. She vowed, ‘Hope – because I know that the amazing people keeping Derek alive, stand shoulder to shoulder with me in NEVER giving up on him and, of course, hope that my wonderful Derek is going to keep fighting this and eventually start to slowly recover.’
Sending all our love, Kate.
This article was originally shared in our sister publication, Woman magazine.