Kate Garraway's husband 'fighting for his life after heart attack'

Kate Garraway’s husband Derek Draper is ‘fighting for his life after a heart attack’ as she cancels all work commitments to ‘hold a bedside vigil while praying for a miracle’

  • Derek has been battling multiple health issues after contracting Covid in 2020
  • The former lobbyist, 56, is in in critical condition after being taken ill on Monday

Kate Garraway‘s husband Derek Draper is fighting for his life after suffering a heart attack. 

Derek, 56, has been plagued with health woes after contracting Covid in 2020 and is now said to be in critical condition after being taken dangerously ill last Monday.

Good Morning Britain presenter Kate, 56, is reportedly holding a 24/7 vigil by his bedside and has cancelled all work commitments while his family ‘pray for a miracle’. 

A source told The Sun: ‘It was sudden and a shock as he had been doing so well and was in great spirits, looking forward to Christmas at home with the family.

‘This setback has been a huge blow for his family and all the people caring for him. Kate is by his side 24 hours a day and is willing him on to win this latest battle for his life. 

‘Derek has fought so many times, and always, against all odds, come out the other side.’

Kate Garraway ‘s husband Derek Draper is fighting for his life after suffering a heart attack. (pictured in ITV documentary Kate Garraway: Caring for Derek) 

Good Morning Britain presenter Kate, 56, is reportedly holding a 24/7 vigil by Derek’s bedside and has cancelled all work commitments, while his family ‘pray for a miracle’ (pictured in 2019)

Derek has been in and out of hospital after he fell seriously ill with coronavirus at the very start of the pandemic in March 2020, and was left with lasting damage to his organs.

Doctors put him in a medically induced coma and he became the longest-suffering coronavirus patient in the UK after spending 13 months in hospital, apart from Kate and their two children – Darcey, 16 and Billy, 13. 

However, he has readmitted several times with numerous health issues, including kidney failure, brain inflammation and liver damage.

MailOnline has contacted Kate’s representatives for comment.  

Kate recently revealed her family are ‘adjusting to a new normal’ as Derek battles to get better and shared a ‘promising’ update on Derek’s health, hoping it could lead to an improvement.

Speaking to OK! magazine, Kate shared: ‘Derek’s in hospital having some treatment. It’s not an emergency thing, it’s not a dramatic rush back into intensive care, thank goodness. It’s something that started last year that we hope will lead to improvement.

‘I’ve managed to get it in before the end of the year. It’s something we were trying to do in the summer, but there are referrals and time and all of those things.

‘Every day we wait and see. There isn’t a dramatic improvement but touch wood things haven’t gone backwards either. So we’re just adjusting to a new normal.’ 

While Kate tries to stay as positive as she can, she also feels like Derek is never ‘safe’.

Earlier this year, Kate revealed she was planning to take Derek to Mexico for a second bout of experimental treatment in a desperate bid to save him from the devastating effects of Covid.

Following a previously ‘gruelling’ trip to Mexico at the beginning of 2022, Kate shared her hopes at flying Derek back for an additional round of treatment. 

Kate told The Sun: ‘The effort required to get him there is extraordinary, and obviously we are relying on the grace of these specialists to help him.

‘I can’t thank all those involved in getting him to Mexico enough because without them he wouldn’t have the chance of this potentially life-changing treatment.’

She added: ‘The plan is to go back for another round of treatment and continue the trial in a way that is financially viable.’

Although Kate insisted that they’d had ‘wonderful treatment’ from the NHS, which were essential in keeping her husband alive, the foreign trips offer ‘potentially life saving treatment’.

As well as the trip, the Smooth Radio presenter has had to spend ‘tens of thousands of pounds’ adapting the family home in London for Derek, which included the installation of ramps, a downstairs wet room and a makeshift downstairs bedroom. 

Derek, 56, has been plagued with health woes after contracting Covid in 2020 and is now said to be in critical condition after being taken dangerously ill last Monda (pictured in April) 

Doctors put him in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator and he was in hospital for 13 months before being discharged in April 2021. However, he has been readmitted several times 

Kate was recognised with an MBE in the 2022 New Year Honours for her services to broadcasting, journalism and charity (pictured with Kate’s parents Marilyn and Gordon)

Due to the severity of his illness and length of time spent in hospital he remains unable to walk and has developed debilitating symptoms. 

In summer last year Derek developed sepsis and was again rushed to hospital, where the severe condition nearly killed him. 

She shared the ‘heartbreak’ she feels over Derek’s health while on new podcast Emotionally Speaking with host Peter Leonard.

She explained: ‘He is living in the world of the unknown, when he wakes u pin the morning it is heartbreaking because it feels as though you are watching someone who may have been inhabiting his old life in his dreams and then he wakes up and you see the cloud descend of the battle he has ahead.

‘But if you look back, there is some progress, he has more words now and his voice is stronger. You occasionally get a little bit of a Chorley accent in there so it feels like he is more present, but he still can’t sit up without assistant and his life isn’t his own.

‘His brain had always been his allay and friend, but now it is his enemy. I think he’s had a big emotional struggle.

Kate added: ‘One of the challenges with Derek is we’ve never felt like he is safe, so every infection and rush back to hospital might be the moment he is taken from us. We are still hopeful he will improve but we have no clear timeline on this. 

It comes after Kate appeared on Heart Breakfast in September alongside Amanda Holden and Jamie Theakston where she spoke about her husband’s health problems and how it impacts the family. 

Kate and Derek share daughter Darcey, 17, and son William, 14.

Jamie asked: ‘How are the kids feeling, that adjustment must be tricky especially at their age?’

Kate replied: ‘Well, yeah I think it’s been quite interesting. I think some of what I’ve been writing about in the book, is the fact that you have adrenaline, don’t you, when something dramatic happens.

‘I talk about what I think is adrenaline, it’s a bit of a frenemy. One level it’s fantastic, it gets you through the crisis, and then as time goes on, it’s not great for your own health.

‘Derek himself has been living on a version of adrenaline as well. And the kids have too in their own way, so I think the last year and a half really, has been coming to terms with the fact that we’re not in a ‘one week’ ‘two week’ ‘three month’ drama.

‘We’re in something ongoing and I think weirdly, that’s how it’s felt for everybody beyond the pandemic.

Kate spoke about how her and Derek’s daughter Darcey, 17, and son William, 14, are dealing with their father’s illness, gushing that they were ‘navigating it brilliantly’ (pictured in 2021)

 Kate appeared on Heart Breakfast in September with Amanda Holden and Jamie Theakston where she spoke about her husband’s health problems and how it impacts the family 

‘We still don’t know, just how much better Derek can get, or worse. So really every time he has a rush into hospital, we’re still in that adrenaline phase of ‘is this the moment where he could be taken from us’.

‘But also, there’s so many spikes of progression, that no one’s giving up hope that there isn’t going to be a movement forward, so it’s managing that rollercoaster. Sorry that wasn’t particularly clear.’

‘But also, there’s so many spikes of progression, that no one’s giving up hope that there isn’t going to be a movement forward. So it’s managing that rollercoaster.’

Kate has made two documentaries detailing her life as Derek battles the long-term effects of Covid-19, with both winning National Television Awards in the authored documentary category.

She was recognised with an MBE in the 2022 New Year Honours for her services to broadcasting, journalism and charity.

A timeline of Derek Draper’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. 


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.’ 


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’


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


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.


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. 


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. 


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. 


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.


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.


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. 


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 


Kate revealed that was in the process of adapting her home to suit Derek’s needs when he is finally released from hospital, in the ITV documentary Finding Derek.

The programmed was praised by viewers for offering a heartbreaking look at the long-term effects of coronavirus.

Kate also revealed that Derek has ‘no muscle left’ since battling Covid


Kate revealed that Derek was finally allowed to leave hospital, but would require round-the-clock care once he was returned home.


Kate revealed that despite now being home with his family, his communication abilities were ‘minimal’ and he ‘couldn’t really move’


During an appearance on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, Kate revealed that Derek had said ‘I love you’ for the first time.

After celebrating Christmas, Derek was also pictured in a wheelchair during a trip to the pantomime with his family


Kate revealed that Derek was ‘very fatigued’ and ‘very weak’ following the family outing, adding: ‘I don’t know what this year is going to bring.’


Kate offered a glimpse into the daily struggles of looking after her husband amid his battle with long Covid in the documentary Caring For Derek

She also revealed that Derek would die within three days if he was left alone to care for himself.


On July 6, Kate revealed that Derek had been re-admitted to hospital after suffering a ‘downturn,’ and in a later interview said she takes things ‘day by day.’

On July 20, it was reported that Kate had pulled out of hosting Good Morning Britain to be at Derek’s bedside after he took a ‘very serious’ turn for the worse. 

Recalling the day, the presenter told The Sun: ‘At one point Derek said to me, “This is it, this time. I am gone.” It was just terrifying.

‘His sepsis was gut-wrenching for all of us because it had gone undiagnosed until the point where it was about to take his life away again.’


Kate became overwhelmed as she confronted former health secretary Matt Hancock over his handling of the pandemic and his decision to go on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here.

She then became tearful and looked up as she spoke about Derek, who has been unwell for approaching three years. 

Describing public anger towards him, Kate added of his decision: ‘This gives the impression you still don’t get why they are cross. You still don’t get why people are upset. They want to hold you to more account.’ 


Kate revealed that Derek was once again receiving care in hospital, as she shared the emotional moment Sir Elton John dedicated a song to the ‘inspiring’ couple. 

She shared the emotional moment Sir Elton John dedicated a song to the ‘inspiring’ couple, writing on Instagram: ‘Yes Derek has been back in hospital this week & yes there’s such a long road ahead but #eltonjohn & @davidfurnish you gave the kids & Derek a moment that we will never forget and has lifted their spirits again to feel anything is possible.’

It was also reported that Kate was planning a trip across the world for pioneering treatment in a ‘final hope’ to help her husband.


Not Kate is reportedly facing a huge £716,000 tax bill after she was forced to close her husband’s business two years after he became stricken with Covid-19.

The final total will be settled within the coming weeks, with friends insisting she will pay whatever is owed.

A friend told The Sun: ‘The figures are terrifying and Kate is of course worried about all the financial pressures, but she has to trust the process.

‘When it comes to an end, she is determined to pay back anything that’s owed.

‘It’s no secret that Kate has been battling to keep her husband alive and working through some heartbreaking situations in her personal life in recent years.

‘Sadly as well as the emotional stress of Derek’s terrible illnesses the financial burden has also been crippling.’

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