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8 June 2020, 13:42 | Updated: 8 June 2020, 13:45
Kate Garraway has bravely opened up about the health of her loving husband Derek Draper after he went to hospital on March 30 after struggling to breathe.
Derek was diagnosed with coronavirus and put into an induced coma shortly afterwards – but weeks later is stuck in the coma, with Kate and children Darcey and Billy unable to visit him in hospital.
Following Kate’s brave live TV appearance on Good Morning Britain on Friday where she detailed Derek’s hospital experience, the Smooth Radio host has given a new interview.
Kate recalled a phone call she received from the intensive care unit just two weeks ago.
The presenter said: “There was a terrible phone call two weeks ago from a senior doctor in the intensive care unit. It was late at night on a Friday and I remember exactly where I was sitting and what I was wearing.
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No official #clapforcarers tonight but we just wanted have our own mini one as our heart felt thanks go on to all fighting to keep Derek with us. Tomorrow I will have the chance to update you & thank you for all your support on @gmb - see you at seven. #hope #staypositive
“My first question, the one I always ask when the hospital call, was, ‘Is Derek still alive?’ and he said he was, but then asked me what my greatest fear was.
“I said, ‘Derek dying’ and he replied, ‘Well, now I think I have to give you a second worst case scenario, which is that he never changes from this. That he is locked in this for ever’.
“He said, ‘I’m not telling you this to scare you. It’s because we don’t know if he can recover. We’ll only know over the coming weeks and months’.
“I threw up, there and then. People had said to me before that they thought he was going to die, but not that he might stay in this state. It’s like a second level of loss.”
Kate continued to Jane Moore in The Sun: “We may lose him even if we don’t lose him. If he doesn’t wake up, then he’s sort of lost anyway… not that I’d love him any less or ever give up. I’d fly all over the world to find a cure if there was one, but all this is unprecedented.
“There have been many awful calls over the weeks, but that one was particularly awful because I realised that, even though he’s now Covid-free, the battle has changed.”
Derek has now had an MRI scan after being hooked up to hospital equipment for months, so that doctors could take a closer look at any damage.
While Derek is now free of Covid-19, Kate said: “They could finally see the damage they hadn’t been able to see before. The virus has just attacked everything.
“He’s got a tracheotomy now, so he’s breathing through that, and his lungs, which have clots, are showing some sign of recovery.
“But the MRI showed that he has damage everywhere, holes in his heart, his liver is impacted, and his pancreas… well, he’s now very, very diabetic which he wasn’t before.
“He’s been on kidney dialysis because his kidneys stopped functioning. And his nerves and his neurology have been affected by the virus, but the impact and the damage of that, they don’t yet know.
“He’s still being given breathing support, but the hope is that each day he will need less. They are watching him constantly, it’s like spinning plates. But whatever happens, we’re looking at months and months of rehabilitation.”
Derek has been taken off the drugs that were keeping him comatose, but he has yet to regain consciousness other than occasionally opening his eyes before shutting them again.
Kate added: “They’ve been trying for the past three weeks to bring him out and he’s not regaining consciousness.
“If you don’t regain it in the first two or three days then that’s when they start talking about weeks, months, even a year.”
Everyone at Smooth is thinking of Derek, Kate, Darcey and Billy, and continue to wish for Derek's recovery.