Piers Morgan pays tribute to Kate Garraway’s late husband Derek Draper following his funeral and raises a toast to the ITV presenter and her children

Piers Morgan pays tribute to Kate Garraways late husband Derek

MARCH 2020

Kate revealed she and Prince Charles came ‘relatively close’ at the Prince’s Trust Awards on 11 March – Charles was diagnosed with coronavirus in mid-March.

She said: ‘Around March 29/30 I got home and came in and said (to Derek) ‘God, you look sick.’

“He said he had a headache, numbness in his right hand, and difficulty breathing,

‘I called Dr Hilary (Jones) and tried to get through, he spoke to Derek. He said put me back, I think you should call an ambulance’

Derek, 52, was admitted to hospital on March 30 in an unresponsive condition.

APRIL

Kate and her children have been isolated at home after she showed ‘mild symptoms’.

Kate said: ‘Derek remains in intensive care and is still very ill. I’m afraid this remains an extremely worrying time.

“I’m afraid he’s still in an extremely critical condition, but he’s still here, which means there’s hope.”

MAY

Kate said: ‘The journey for me and my family seems far from over as every day my heart sinks as I learn new and devastating ways this virus has more battles for Derek to fight.

“But he is still HERE and so there is still hope.”

That month, Kate and her family took part in the final blow for carers

She said: ‘I will never give up because Derek is the love of my life but at the same time I have absolute insecurity’

JUNE

On June 5, Kate revealed that Derek is now free of coronavirus but continues to fight the damage done to his body

JULY

On July 5, Kate revealed that Derek had woken up from his coma, but he was still in a serious but critical condition.

On July 8, she announced she would be returning to GMB, after being urged by doctors to ‘get on with life’ during Derek’s recovery.

She added that Derek “opened his eyes” after waking from his coma, but was told his recovery could take years.

On July 13, Kate returned to GMB for the first time since Derek was admitted to hospital.

On July 28, Kate revealed she had an ‘extra emotional’ first visit with Derek, admitting she was ‘frustrated’ at his slow progress.

AUGUST

On August 14, Kate reassured GMB viewers that Derek was ‘still with us’ but it was ‘a waiting game’.

On August 19, Kate revealed that she had celebrated Derek’s birthday with their two children, describing the day as ‘challenging’ for her family.

SEPTEMBER

In late September, Derek reportedly became the longest-surviving coronavirus patient after spending 184 days in and out of intensive care.

Kate reveals that Derek lost eight stone during his fight.

The presenter announces that she is returning to her Smooth Radio show so Derek can hear her voice.

OCTOBER

On October 30, Kate revealed Derek spoke for the first time in seven months and said the word ‘pain’ to his wife, who watched ‘in tears’ over FaceTime.

Kate says a day later her husband no longer needs a ventilator to breathe.

NOVEMBER

Kate reveals her family car has been stolen in the latest ‘body blow’ to her family life as kind-hearted fans offer their cars to help.

She says she feels ‘physically ill’ at the prospect of facing her first Christmas without Derek.

DECEMBER

The GMB star tells viewers it’s her dream to visit Derek on Christmas Day.

She also reveals that she missed two weeks on GMB after her children were exposed to the virus, but luckily she and the children tested negative.

On December 17, Kate has an emotional conversation live on GMB with two nurses who treated Derek when he was first admitted to the Whittington Hospital in North London.

On New Year’s Eve, she reflects on a ‘disastrous’ Christmas without Derek as her house was flooded and she struggled to get a food delivery slot until her pal Emma Willis stepped in to help.

JANUARY 2021

Kate reveals that she and her children were able to visit Derek in hospital over the Christmas period, and it was the first time her family had seen him since he was admitted to hospital.

She also says she is forbidden to see him due to new restrictions introduced during the government’s third lockdown.

FEBRUARY

Kate reveals she’s unsure how much Derek ‘will ever recover’ after doctors warn he may never wake up from coma

MARCH

Kate revealed in the ITV documentary Finding Derek that she was adapting her home to meet Derek’s needs when he was finally released from hospital.

The show has been praised by viewers for a heartbreaking look at the long-term effects of coronavirus.

Kate also revealed that Derek has ‘no muscles left’ since battling Covid

APRIL

Kate revealed that Derek was finally allowed to leave the hospital, but that he would require constant care once he returned home.

MAY

Kate revealed that his ability to communicate was ‘minimal’ and that he ‘couldn’t really move, even though he was now at home with his family.

DECEMBER

During an appearance on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, Kate revealed that Derek said ‘I love you’ for the first time.

After celebrating Christmas, Derek was also pictured in a wheelchair during a trip to the pantomime with his family

JANUARY 2022

Kate revealed that Derek was ‘very tired’ and ‘very weak’ after the family outing, adding: ‘I don’t know what this year is going to bring.’

FEBRUARY

Kate gave a glimpse into the daily struggle to look after her husband amid his long battle with Covid in the documentary Caring For Derek

She also revealed that Derek would die within three days if left alone to fend for himself.

JULY

On July 6, Kate revealed that Derek had been re-admitted to hospital after suffering a ‘downswing’, and in a later interview said she was taking things ‘day by day’.

On July 20, it was reported that Kate had pulled out of presenting Good Morning Britain to be at Derek’s bedside after he took a ‘very serious’ turn for the worse.

Recalling the day, the presenter told The Sun: ‘At one point Derek said to me: “This is it, this time. I’m off.” It was just terrifying.

“His sepsis was gut wrenching for all of us because it was undiagnosed to the point where it was about to take his life again.”

JANUARY 2023

Kate became overwhelmed when she confronted the former health secretary Matt Hancock about his handling of the pandemic and his decision to continue I am a celebrity…Get me out of here.

She then became tearful and looked up as she spoke about Derek, who has been unwell for almost three years.

Describing public anger towards him, Kate added of his decision: ‘It gives the impression that you still don’t understand why they are angry. You still don’t understand why people are upset. They want to hold you more accountable.’

APRIL

Kate revealed that Derek is back in hospital receiving care, as she shared the emotional moment Sir Elton John dedicated a song to the ‘inspirational’ couple.

She shared the emotional moment Sir Elton John dedicated a song to the ‘inspirational’ couple, writing on Instagram: ‘Yes Derek was back in hospital this week and yes there is such a long road ahead, but #eltonjohn & @davidfurnish you gave the kids & Derek a moment we’ll never forget & lifted them back up to feel anything is possible.’

It has also been reported that Kate is planning a trip around the world for pioneering treatment in a ‘final hope’ to help her husband.

MAY

Kate reportedly faced a huge £716,000 tax bill after being forced to close her husband’s business two years after he was struck down with Covid-19.

The final total will be settled in the coming weeks, with friends insisting she will pay whatever is owed.

A friend told The Sun: ‘The numbers are scary and Kate is obviously worried about all the financial pressure, but she has to trust the process.

‘When it comes to an end, she is determined to repay anything that is owed.

‘It’s no secret that over the past few years Kate has struggled to keep her husband alive and work through some heartbreaking situations in her personal life.

“Unfortunately, as well as the emotional stress of Derek’s terrible illnesses, the financial burden has also been crippling.”

DECEMBER

Derek was fighting for his life after suffering a heart attack.

Kate kept a 24/7 vigil by his bedside and canceled all work commitments while the family ‘praised for a miracle’.

A source said: ‘It was sudden and a shock as he had been doing so well and was in good spirits and looking forward to Christmas at home with the family.

‘This setback was a huge blow to his family and all the people who care about him. Kate is by his side 24 hours a day and is willing to win him this latest battle for his life.

“Derek has fought so many times, and always, against all odds, came out the other side.”

JANUARY 2024

Kate announced on January 5 that Derek had passed away.

She said: ‘Derek was surrounded by his family in his last days and I was by his side holding his hand during the last long hours and when he passed.

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

MailOnline understands he died on January 3 in a north London hospital.

He is survived by wife Kate and their children Darcey (17) and son William (14).