ONE year ago today Kate Garraway made the terrifying decision to call an ambulance for her husband Derek Draper.
The super-smart 53-year-old, who once operated at the highest levels of politics, was rushed to intensive care with coronavirus.
Tragically, he remains there to this day, with Good Morning Britain star Kate, 53, wondering if her husband will ever be the same again.
Today Derek is by some distance the UK’s longest suffering person to be hospitalised during the coronavirus crisis.
Here we take a look at his journey, charting the heartbreak – and hope that he will return home one day soon.
As Kate started the year it was all set to be her best yet – with the star even planning to renew her vows with Derek.
But as coronavirus struck and lockdown measures came into force across the UK, it was revealed he had been taken to hospital.
Kate later explained: “All I asked him to do was hold his breath and see how long he could hold it for, and it was less than 10 seconds.
“I said: ‘OK, now is the time to call an ambulance’ and this was when he was admitted.”
He was taken to hospital on 30 March, where he tested positive for Covid-19, and put into intensive care.
Kate immediately took time off from Good Morning Britain and her chat show, At Home With The Garraways, which was set to launch in April, was shelved.
With the Thursday night Clap For Carers being noisy adopted across the UK, Kate and her family were among its most enthusiastic supporters.
She was often seen in the street outside her London home at 8pm, often using the event to update fans on Derek’s condition and support the NHS.
The star posted in April: “None of those keeping my Derek alive have ever made me feel it’s a chore, they want to win this as much as I want them to, but it must be so hard. He is still critically ill in intensive care.”
Kate celebrates her first birthday in 16 years without Derek – who is still unresponsive in intensive care – by her side.
She called the occasion “tough” saying sadly: “1st birthday in 16 years without Derek – so for the kids & I, his absence was very present.
“But we resolved to do what I think we are all having to do at the moment aren’t we – treasure & be grateful for the love around us – however distanced we are from it.”
As summer began there was another painful milestone for the family, with Kate posting an emotional Father’s Day message.
She wrote: “Happy Fathers Day to all the wonderful Daddy’s out there. A tough day for us but am filled with so much love & gratitude to still have for my Dad ‘Trinity’.
“Thats my Dad Gordon, Derek’s dad Ken and of course Derek himself (officially the Best Dad in the World according to Darcey & Billy.)”
She added that she was full of hope but called Derek’s recovery a “long road with an uncertain end”.
Good Morning Britain viewers welcome Kate back to the show as she returns – 100 days after Derek was taken ill.
She explained that her husband had nearly died six times after his organs failed amid his coronavirus battle.
The star said: “A doctor who has treated him in two hospitals said: ‘He’s as sick as anyone I’ve ever seen in 35 years of medicine.’
“Six times they said he’s not going to make it. He’s been very, very sick.”
Because of coronavirus Derek has been able to have very few visitors, with much contact with his family taking place via video-chat.
But at Christmas his daughter Darcey, 14, and son Billy, 11, were finally allowed to visit.
Speaking on GMB Kate explained Christmas had been “tough” but the whole family being allowed to see Derek was a high point.
She said: “We did get to see Derek and the children did, which is the first time they were able to do that, so that was amazing.
“And of course, it was very heightened with emotion because he is very changed.
“All the routines that we would normally do, it was one of those moments where it was so wonderful, but then it sort of amplified how sad everything was and how different it is.”
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Kate appears in ITV documentary Finding Derek, a heart-rending look at the ordeal suffered by him – and his family.
He is seen in his hospital bed for the first time as the family are seen dealing with the aftermath of his hospitalisation.
Despite the horrors that were laid bare on film, there are moments of genuine hope, with Kate shown coverting their ground-floor lounge into a room for Derek when he returns.
She also revealed she had saved Derek’s newspapers from the whole time he’s been away.
Kate says: “So, they’re all waiting for you here Derek, when you come back. It’s like a little capsule of time.”