Kate Garraway has told how she has been unable to see Derek Draper in hospital this year – but enjoyed a “wonderful” family reunion at Christmas.
Due to the lockdown rules she has not been allowed to go in and see her husband for almost three months whilst he remains in intensive care battling the effects of coronavirus.
Kate instead has to rely on iPad video calls to speak to Derek almost daily and the last time she was there was in December with the family, including children Darcey and Billy.
Kate told the Mirror: “It was lovely, it was wonderful. And I’m so proud of the children.
“Because, yes, they’ve been talking to him on FaceTime. Yes, nothing’s a secret from them. But it is still a physical shock to the system to see him in the flesh.
“Because he has changed. Derek is physically very affected. His legs are like sticks, he has no muscle left. In terms of his movement, he’s physically affected.
“And of course, they’ve been longing for so long, so long, to be able to have their dad and be with their dad. And they were planning what they were going to say and do.
“Of course he can’t respond exactly the way he did before, but he was looking directly at them and his expression showed so much love. They coped brilliantly, they seemed to get ‘each other’.”
Kate was speaking ahead of new ITV documentary Finding Derek which will show the challenges Derek and the family have faced a year on from when he first contracted coronavirus.
Although the virus had left his system, his body was dealing with kidney failure, damage to his liver and pancreas and heart failure.
Kate tells how he is “still fighting” but at one low point last November he said he couldn’t go on.
In the documentary Finding Derek which airs on ITV1 on Tuesday, we hear Derek saying “Kate, there’s no way out. There’s no way out. I’ve got to the point where I just think f*** it. Just f*** it,” he said.
“As in die?” Kate bravely asked Derek before he responds “Yes… I don’t know how to cope, I don’t know how to cope.”
Kate refused to give up on the man she loved and vowed to save him.
“You don’t know how to cope with it. OK,” she told him. “I know you feel like you’re trapped in your head and it’s terrifying. But you’re coming home, you’re coming back to your life and you will be the person, even better than you were before. You will be.
“I will find a way to make it better. I promised you that I would save you and I’m going to save you, I will find a way, but you just have to hang in there.”
*Kate Garraway: Finding Derek is on ITV on Tuesday at 9pm. Kate Garraway The Power of Hope is available for pre-order now.