Kate Garraway Says Late Husband Derek: 'Taught Me To Never Give Up Fighting For What Is Right'

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Kate Garraway has paid tribute to her late husband Derek Draper, saying that she wants his legacy to lead to a change in the care system.

Derek Draper died in January aged 56, following a long term battle with Covid-19. The former political advisor and lobbyist was rushed to hospital in 2020, where he spent the next few months in a coma.

The final year of Draper's life was documented in a new programme by Garraway, titled: Kate Garraway: Derek's Story, with part of this documentary filmed after his death. 

 "I think if I have any regret it’s every single minute that I didn’t spend holding his hand because I had to go and write an email, I had to go and make a phone call", the presenter said during the documentary, when asked if she had any regrets. 

Garraway continued, "Having to fight the system that should be there to catch you when you fall but feels, when you’re going through it, like it’s there to catch you out. And that’s what now I want to be Derek’s legacy: to fight on for that change". 

Elsewhere, Kate Garraway also revealed that it cost £16,000 (€18,600) to cover her husband's care, which was more than her salary from ITV, leading to huge debts.

"The one thing Derek has taught me is never give up fighting for what is right", Garraway stated. "It’s not about Derek or me, it’s about having a society where caring isn’t a luxury".

"We are all going to need it and it’s not about somebody coming round to cut up your food because you’re feeling a bit weak, it’s about somebody giving you a chance of living, and it’s sort of belittled as that as though it’s not as valuable as the skill of a surgeon". 

"The skill of a carer to spot when things are changing has saved Derek’s life so many times over the last four years and yes, it was finally taken, but my god those four years had value".

"isn't a relief"

Kate Garraway revealed that people tried to comfort her following Derek's death, by telling her that she must feel some sense of relief that he is no longer in pain.

"But there isn't a relief", Garraway insisted. 

The presenter added that she was "ashamed"  at being left with huge debts due to paying for Derek's care bills. 

"Derek’s care costs more than my salary from ITV and that is before you pay for a mortgage, before you pay any household bills, before you pay for anything for the kids, so we are at a crunch point", she explained. "I am in debt". 

Garraway added, "I can’t earn enough money to cover my debt because I am managing Derek’s care and I can’t even use the money I do have to support Derek’s recovery because it’s going on the basics all the time". 

"I’m not going to pretend that I am poorly paid, I have an incredible job that I love, which is well-paid, but it’s not enough". 

"something has to be done"

Kate Garraway also used the documentary to call on more work to be done with regards to the care system.

She said during the documentary that they were told "time and again" that her husband Derek was not "sick enough", and did not have a sufficient health need to require or qualify for funded care.

"Something has to be done, or the whole service, the people working in it, everything is going to break", Garraway said. "Derek’s care, the basic needs, not including any therapy, which I am happy to pay on top, is nearly £4,000 (€4,600) a week". 

"How can I afford that?

"How can anybody afford £16,000 a month?".

Kate Garraway also revealed that her family only had the heating on in Derek's room at home, saying that "everything’s more expensive".

This documentary also shows Derek Draper speaking for the first time saying: "I want you to hear my story". 

Kate Garraway had previously documented caring for her late husband in ITV documentaries,  Finding Derek and Caring For Derek. The pair got married in 2005, and went on to have two children. 



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