Kate Garraway's husband Derek Draper has died aged 56 after long Covid battle

Kate Garraway shared the news that Derek passed away in a moving statement

Kate Garraway and husband Derek Draper arrives at the Galaxy British Book Awards at Grosvenor House on April 3, 2009 in London, England.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate Garraway's husband Derek Draper has died aged 56.

The author and political advisor had been battling complications caused by Covid since March 2020 and Kate took to social media to share the news of his passing in a moving statement. 

The TV presenter, who shared children Darcey, 17, and Billy, 14, with Derek, explained that Derek's death came after he suffered a cardiac arrest that left him in a critical state at the start of December. 

"I’m sad to have to tell you all that my darling husband Derek has passed away. As some of you may know he has been critically ill following a cardiac arrest in early December which, because of the damage inflicted by Covid in March 2020, led to further complications," Kate wrote. 

Kate went on to share that Derek was by her side when he died and was in the presence of friends and family in the days leading up to his death. 

"Derek was surrounded by his family in his final days and I was by his side holding his hand throughout the last long hours and when he passed.

"I have so much more to say, and of course I will do so in due course, but for now I just want to thank all the medical teams who fought so hard to save him and to make his final moments as comfortable and dignified as possible," Kate added. 

Ending the statement, Kate wrote, "Sending so much love and thanks to all of you who have so generously given our family so much support. Rest gently and peacefully now Derek, my love, I was so lucky to have you in my life."

Kate Garraway, with her husband Derek Draper and her parents Gordon and Marilyn Garraway, after being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her services to broadcasting, journalism and charity by the Prince of Wales during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle, on June 28, 2023 in Windsor, England.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Derek is thought to be the UK's longest-suffering Covid patient, having spent 13 months in hospital after contracting the virus in the early stages of the pandemic. 

Despite being able to return home to Kate, Darcey and Billy in April 2021, Derek still required daily care at home, with his internal organs suffering from severe damage. 

In July 2022, Derek was re-admitted to hospital as his condition worsened and continued to be in and out of hospital into 2023. 

Kate Garraway and Derek Draper

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Last June, Kate was awarded an MBE for her services to broadcasting, journalism and charity from Prince William and Derek was able to attend the ceremony at Windsor Castle to be by her side. 

On December 17th 2023, Derek was rushed to hospital after suffering a heart attack and was left "fighting for his life". 

Kate stepped away from her TV and radio presenting duties to be by Derek's side at the time, before announcing his death in January. 

Thousands of touching tributes and messages from fans began to flood in after Kate confirmed the news of Derek's death. 

Various celebrities and friends of Kate and Derek also took to social media to pay their respects. 

Kate's Good Morning Britain co-presenter Susanna Reid penned, "Our whole hearts are with you all," while Richard Arnold simply said, "By your side always."

Meanwhile comedian Alan Carr wrote, "Oh Kate that's so awful. Sending you so much love and the deepest condolences."

Former Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan added, "RIP Derek Draper. A brilliantly clever & funny man who fought his covid health hell with such courage & resilience, helped every step of the way by his magnificent wife ⁦Kate Garraway⁩ whose loyal, loving, selfless devotion was truly astounding. Heartbreaking news."

"On what has been the saddest of days @kategarraway I've been reminding myself of the wonderful times and memories we have all shared together," Ben Shephard wrote, 

"This is how I'll always think of Derek - bringing you so much joy, your smile says it all, the size of which is matched only by his love for you, Darcey and Bill. Sending all our love Kate to you and all the family," he added.

Caitlin Elliott
News Editor

Caitlin is News Editor for woman&home, covering all things royal, celeb, fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Caitlin started on local papers and titles such as Cosmopolitan, Now, Reveal and Take a Break while studying for her Multimedia Journalism degree. She also worked in Fashion PR as a Press Assistant for Arcadia's Topshop before becoming a part of the Now team. Caitlin went on to add the likes of Woman, GoodtoKnow, WhatToWatch and woman&home to her writing repertoire before moving on to her current role.