On March 30, 52-year-old Derek was taken away by ambulance as he struggled to breathe due to coronavirus.
Ten weeks later he remains critically ill in intensive care, having already been brought back to life once after his heart stopped, and with extensive damage to his heart, liver, pancreas and nerves.
“It was late at night on a Friday and I remember exactly where I was sitting and what I was wearing. 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 forever’.
“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’.”
Ms Garraway, 53, continued: “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. 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.”
A recent MRI scan revealed the previously unseen extent of Mr Draper’s condition, with Ms Garraway explaining “the virus has just attacked everything”.
She said: “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.”
“They have been trying for three weeks to bring him out of coma.”
Ms Garraway also recalled the glimpse of hope experienced the day before her birthday on May 4, when her husband opened his eyes for the first time, referring to it as an “amazing day”, and what was thought to be the start of his recovery.
However, he closed his eyes again and now only opens them periodically, with doctors unsure why he’s still unable to move.
Mr Draper was put in an induced coma in early April, but medical staff have now stopped giving him drugs in the hope he regains consciousness, with Ms Garraway, and the couple’s two children – Darcey, 14 and Billy, ten, – FaceTiming him regularly in the hope he wakes up.
Ms Garraway added: “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.
“The doctors are really adamant that I have to look after myself because this is a long haul and I can’t be folding, especially for the kids. So I am trying to do that.”