That was the week TV star Kate Garraway was due to renew her vows to husband Derek Draper on the occasion of her 15th anniversary.
Instead, the TV presenter faces a "very strange" day when her husband continues his fight against the coronavirus in the hospital.
In a moving interview in today's magazine You, Kate, 53, says, “We hope and believe he will come out of this, but we just don't know.
Kate is inspirationally optimistic. "We're lucky, so many people have lost loved ones," she says. “What you keep thinking is that there have been so many times when doctors thought we'd lost or been with Derek and he's still here. There is still hope & # 39;
"The family's heart has been torn out and we don't know if we will ever get it back."
The Good Morning British star returned to work in July on the advice of doctors who said she needed to get back to a routine.
She was strong for her two children Darcey, 14, who were planning a "second wedding" for their parents on Thursday, and Billy, 11, but admits she is "consumed with fear".
Seeking solace in the carefree moments Derek – a “massive fan of silliness” – would enjoy, she adds, “It's a ditch humor.
“You need it to get through. So I would try to do things differently with the kids.
"We'd hop on the trampoline to exercise and they'd laugh at how bad I was."
Kate Garraway's husband Derek Draper (pictured together) fell ill at the start of the lockdown. He no longer has an induced coma, but remains in the intensive care unit
Draper, a former political lobbyist turned psychotherapist, fell ill at the start of the lockdown and was hospitalized on the advice of Good Morning's British doctor Hilary Jones.
He no longer has an induced coma, but remains in the intensive care unit.
Kate describes how "everyone has been amazingly supportive" and reveals that she even received a message from Boris Johnson, who was hospitalized with Covid in April.
& # 39; Boris wrote me a really nice message and Carrie (his fiancée) sent us messages about other people.
“So I saw a very human side. Boris & # 39; public face gets a lot of stick, but the challenge is that politicians like us are in the dark. & # 39;
Love, fear, hope … Kate Garraway on how she keeps her family together while her husband fights for his life
By Julia Llewellyn-Smith for you
The last "normal" Saturday Good morning Great Britain and Smooth radio Hostess Kate Garraway stayed with her husband Derek Draper in late March. Their 14 year old daughter Darcey was with friends and they had dropped their 11 year old son Billy off in his street dance class. Then they went to their favorite cafe for brunch.
"We had such a good time," says Kate, 53. "We'd waited forever to put in sliding patio doors to our back garden – not a very rock or romantic brunch theme, I know, but we were." so excited about the chance to make plans. After we talked about it, Derek said, “I'm afraid there will be a lockdown. While we're in isolation, it's a good time to print out the children's photos to hang on the wall. & # 39; So we went to B&Q to get some picture frames. & # 39;
The last "normal" Saturday that Good Morning Britain and Smooth Radio host Kate Garraway spent with her husband Derek Draper was at the end of March. Soon Derek was in intensive care and was diagnosed with Covid-19
Over five months later, the frames are unpacked and stacked in Kate and Derek's hallway in north London. The photos were never printed. "I don't know how to use the printer," says Kate ruefully. For the day after the B&Q trip on March 29, Derek, 53, felt sick and was hospitalized. Just a week later, he was in the intensive care unit, which was diagnosed with Covid-19. He's still there today, in a minimally conscious state that no one knows will ever be able to recover from.
"We hope and believe it will come out of it, but we just don't know," says Kate, who vomited when the doctors first told her. "The family's heart has been torn out and we don't know if we will ever get it back."
Derek is one of an estimated only five people in the world whose bodies have been so badly damaged by Covid. He survived, but how long – or even if he can recover – the doctors cannot say. His condition is constantly fluctuating. “When they say that this has improved today, you don't feel the euphoria you want because you have this feeling that something else went wrong the next day.
"At first it was all about Derek's lungs," continues Kate. But then his kidneys failed and he was on dialysis. Now they have recognized that Covid can affect every cell in the body: Derek recently had problems with his intestines. Food ingestion and vomiting are problems and they are trying to find out if this is because his cells are not making the enzymes they want to be digested. His liver, heart and blood vessels are affected. & # 39;
Throughout it all, Kate kept the fort at home and tried to come up with a hacking front for the kids. Since July, she has been presenting GMB again and working on endless conversations with medical professionals, not to mention the legal and financial challenges of being a partner in a coma.
"There has been more than one day or two when I was consumed by fear," she says. “But as a mother, you can't go to bed and cry for 24 hours. Children don't choose when they will be upset; They say, "It's 9pm, I'm going to bed, I have to get up to work at 2am," and then all of a sudden they want to talk about Dad, so of course all you have to say is, "OK, let's talk about it. # 39;
Throughout all of this, Kate kept the fort at home and tried to come up with a hacking front for the kids. Kate wears a suit, Giuliva Heritage x H & M.
Kate talks to me about Zoom. The video link is rope; Before I can see her, I hear Kate laughing at the technological problems. Our conversation is riddled with her hearty giggles and big smiles as she speaks openly about her ordeal. That cheerful front wasn't seen much at Kate's in March. “At first you couldn't laugh at anything, it would have been too strange. But what reassured me that it was okay to have fun was that Derek (a former political lobbyist in the early years of the first Blair psychotherapist administration) was a massive believer in silliness – is. Sometimes it drove me crackers. I remember when we once missed a flight and he was kidding and I was like, "It's not funny!" and he said, "You have to laugh about it so you can handle it." It's digging humor. You need it to get through
“So I would try to do things differently with the children. We went on the trampoline to exercise and they laughed at how bad I was. Or once Darcey googled people in a coma and found a story about a woman who spoke out of a fluent Mandarin. We had a hysterical half an hour imagining Dad dropping in with a genteel voice like Prince Charles rather than his Chorley accent. Billy was worried – "I don't want Dad to sound any different" – and I had to calm him down, but for Darcey laughter was a real relief in a situation that is obviously very, very sad and scary.
Kate and Derek had planned to renew their marriage vows. "I can't wait for him to come to our house … this is my dream."
A jungle challenge for Kate and Myles Stephenson. In December, she talked about how Derek "fell in love with me again" after brilliantly coping with the privations of the jungle on the latest series of I'm A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!
Yet Kate was concerned about how the public might react to her smile, let alone her laugh, when – on the advice of doctors who said she needed to go back to the routine – she returned to ITV, where she has been more than one regular television station in breakfast was 20 years. “I made a point of not talking too much about Derek's sadness. I don't want to topple anyone. My job is to cheer people up. But it's a balance: I don't want anyone to think, "She's smiling and doesn't care about her husband."
Kate mentioned this fear on a broadcast, only to have it misinterpreted when she said she was trolled by angry viewers. "That was all misunderstood," she says. “I expected meanness, but the truth is, I wasn't trolled at all. Everyone gave us amazing support. & # 39; Kate also received support from Boris Johnson, who was admitted to intensive care with coronavirus in April, and his fiancée Carrie Symonds. Boris handwritten me a really nice note that he was thinking of me, and Carrie sent us messages about other people saying that she knows it is very difficult. So I saw a very human side. Boris & # 39; public face gets a lot of stick, but the challenge is that all politicians are just like us in the dark. & # 39;
It's desperately sad to believe that Kate and Derek, who met this week at a drinks event organized by their mutual friend, former Labor politician Gloria del Piero, were planning a renewal of their marriage vows and a big 15th wedding anniversary party Thursday .
In December, she spoke about how Derek "fell in love with me again" after watching her brilliantly deal with the privations of the jungle on the latest series of I'm a celebrity … get me out of here!. When she left the jungle (she finished fourth), Derek pulled out a ring and asked her to remarry him. I felt like I saw everything in a new light. I had always known family and friends and love were the most important thing, but after the jungle that brought it even more into focus. Darcey was very excited: she was planning a second wedding – God knows what she would have made me wear. But now that won't happen and our anniversary will be very strange. & # 39;
After Derek began to feel ill, he thought it was a new pain reliever he was taking for a long-term shoulder injury and sinusitis. Nobody suspected a coronavirus because they had neither cough nor fever – Covid's official symptoms at the time. But when his condition quickly deteriorated, Kate called GMBSan Francisco-based physician Dr. Hilary Jones, who advised her to call 999 after phone breath tests. Derek was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, where he appeared to be fine at first. "One of the last pieces of text I have from him says:" The doctor says the lung x-ray looks positive, I definitely won't die, "she reveals.
Kate with daughter Darcey and son Billy last year. For several weeks, the family's only contact with Derek was through hospital staff
Kate made an emotional return to Good Morning Britain in July. “I made a point of not talking too much about Derek's sadness. I don't want to topple anyone. My job is to cheer people up. But there is a balance … & # 39;
But within a few hours, Derek's condition worsened. "Doctors said," He won't make it. "He couldn't breathe and was put into a medical coma to give his lungs a rest. Before he went under, he called Kate and said," I love you, you saved my life. "
For several weeks, the family's only contact with Derek was through hospital staff. When I finally got him to FaceTime it was a huge shock to see him passed out. He lost almost eight stones, many of them muscle in his body. It looked worn, thin and pale, with dark circles under the eyes, and there were many tubes. & # 39;
In July, Derek emerged from his deep coma and showed some signs of consciousness, occasionally opening his eyes. The family began talking to him through FaceTime over an iPad held by a nurse, although no one is sure whether they can hear or not.
Darcey tends to chat with him while she does other things, like building flat pack furniture that she bought and wanted to assemble. She'll say, "Oh dad, I wish you were here, I can't find the right screwdriver." Sometimes I just take the phone out into the garden so he can hear the kids fooling around. But we don't know where he's thinking. & # 39;
Just a few weeks ago, Kate was finally able to visit Derek in the hospital. Coronavirus precautions mean the kids and Derek's parents haven't been able to. "I see him pretty seldom, not as often as I would like," she says, biting her lip. She has put together playlists of his favorite songs for him (he is especially fond of Bob Dylan) and nurses support her presentation on an iPad GMB in front of him.
That was the week TV star Kate Garraway was due to renew her vows to celebrate her 15th anniversary with her husband
Kate took a week off to help Billy prepare for high school ("I wasn't particularly good at home tutoring," she says dryly). “I always think about how Derek would help Billy. He was so brilliant at all of this, ”she continues. “I imagine all of the conversations he would have with Derek – it's heartbreaking to think that they might never have them again. If someone said to you, "This is only a short-term time, you will make it, then everything will go back to normal." You would have such a boost of energy. But it's the same for anyone living with a loved one with Covid, it's all unknown. It wears you down. What I have to accept is that for the time being I am a de facto single mother when I've always said I don't know how single mothers do it. & # 39;
In fact, she's a single mom with more on her plate when she returns to her regular morning slot on weekdays next week on Smooth Radio. “I really look forward to playing relaxing music – three hours on the air when all you can think of is what is happening. All your thoughts, such as "I have to call this or that doctor", must take a back seat. It's strangely relaxing. & # 39;
But once the job is done, her thoughts return to Derek. & # 39; Every problem I deal with, I automatically think: & # 39; Oh, I'll check with Derek & # 39; and then I realize I can't. There is always this sadness. That and the heartache wear the most. & # 39; Still, Kate is inspirationally optimistic. "We're lucky, so many people have lost loved ones," she says. “What you keep thinking is that there have been so many times when doctors thought we'd lost or been with Derek and he's still here. There is still hope. & # 39;
Meanwhile, she's wondering about finally installing the patio doors the couple talked about on that happy Saturday when blissfully they didn't know what fate had in store for them. “It's too sad to do it without him, and I don't know if we have the money now. Taking care of Derek in the future is my priority. But when he's a little better, I'll do it. I can't wait for him to come to our house … this is my dream. & # 39;
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