Kate Garraway shares husband Derek's sweet birthday message in Covid-19 recovery update

Kate Garraway has updated fans on her husband Derek's recovery from Long Covid as she celebrates her 54th birthday

Kate Garraway seen arriving at the Global Radio studios in London. (Photo by Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Image credit: Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Kate Garraway has shared a promising update on the recovery of her husband Derek Draper, who was diagnosed with Covid-19 last year. 

Speaking on Lorraine this morning, the ITV presenter revealed that Derek had wished her a happy birthday after she reminded him of the upcoming occasion the previous day. The sweet gesture marks a positive step in the political advisor's progress, giving his family a glimmer of hope in what has been an extremely challenging year. 

Derek was hospitalized after contracting Long Covid in March 2020 and was placed in a medically-induced coma the following month. He has since returned home but remains unable to fully communicate with his wife and their two children. 

Derek's family is now looking for 'lots of little things' to measure his improvement—one being an increased level of consciousness. Kate shared an uplifting interaction with him on her birthday, May 4, in which he demonstrated his ability to remember important dates. 

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Kate Garraway with her husband Derek Draper, and children Darcey Draper and William Draper arrive at Heathrow Airport after returning from 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!' on December 11, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by GC Images/GC Images)

Kate Garraway with her husband Derek Draper and their two children in 2019 

(Image credit: GC Images/Getty )

"Last night I said to him, when I was tucking him in and we were doing various medical bits, 'Oh, by the way, it's my birthday tomorrow.' And I may have imagined it but he looked a bit worried and I said, 'Don't worry, I'm not expecting anything. My birthday present is you being home." 

Kate went into his bedroom this morning again to say hello—and to see if he'd remembered their conversation from the previous night. 

"So I came in this morning—and I said, 'I'm off to Lorraine now. Is there anything you want to say to me?' And he said, 'Oh, happy birthday!'" 

Kate grew visibly emotional as she recalled the poignant moment, but assured Lorraine and viewers that she was shedding 'happy tears.' 

The broadcaster has been candid about her husband's illness from the beginning, even penning a book entitled The Power of Hope about her experience of the traumatic ordeal. Despite the adversity of the past year, things are gradually beginning to look up for Derek's future. 

"There are things that he does which are miraculous, he remembers extraordinary things," Kate said on This Morning last week. He is also no longer dependent on machines and is even speaking in his regular accent. 

However, his body has undergone some major challenges and he relies on round-the-clock care to help him with his basic needs. Once he is well enough to leave the bed, he will likely require a wheelchair to move around. 

“He is physically very changed, everything has to be done for him," Kate added. “So we have a different life.”

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.