'Don't give up': Kate Garraway reveals struggle for husband's care and calls for reform

22 February 2022, 10:36 | Updated: 22 February 2022, 11:51

Social care system 'not working,' Kate Garraway tells LBC

By Will Taylor

Kate Garraway has told carers and patients "don't give up the fight" as she continues to try give her husband Derek the best life she can.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Smooth Radio presenter said she feels "incredibly lucky" to have the support around her – even if she believes she has gotten "tougher" as a result of her family’s ordeal.

Her critical assessment of the state of the care sector as she spoke to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast will be viewed as a call for change. Her remarks come ahead of ITV’s broadcast of her new documentary on Derek Draper's recovery.

Kate Garraway: Caring for Derek, which will air at 9pm on Tuesday on ITV, follows the 54-year-old former political adviser as he returns home from hospital and receives round-the-clock care.

He was struck by Covid near the start of the pandemic, in March 2020, and no longer has the virus. However, he has been left with long-lasting damage to his organs and Kate said he is not "out of the woods" because the long-term effects of his illness are not known.

Read more: Boris pledges 'barrage of sanctions' against Russia after Putin sends troops into Ukraine

Read more: Brits to get Easter holiday boost as EU countries set to scrap pre-departure tests

Kate Garraway said care services are not working as they should
Kate Garraway said care services are not working as they should. Picture: ITV

She struggled to get care amid the pandemic and said: "The carers and the people that try and make the system work, they are absolute heroes, but, it is not working.

"It is not working as well as it should for everybody. And the care system is the one thing we're all going to need in life.

"We're either all going to become carers at some point for someone we love, or we're going to need care, either because we've got old and we need care, or because it can happen, as I've spoken to people where they're 20 years old, they walk out and get hit by a car and suddenly their life is changed and they need support in how to go forward.

"So it's something we need to address. I don't get political in it... because this is just my story, but I'm sure that there will be and should be a debate that follows."

Derek remains needing round-the-clock care
Derek remains needing round-the-clock care. Picture: ITV

She said her "kind, caring" husband still only speaks in a whisper or single words, but people still see "flashes" of movement and the first time he moved because he "wants to do something" was when he hugged his son upon return, as seen in the documentary.

He is "absolutely there", she said, adding that he joked that his home office was "disgraceful" because Kate has used it as a bit of a "dumping ground".

Kate told Nick she was at a low eb last year, unsure how to win the fight and feeling like there was no way out.

"The hope there that I want people to think is, don’t give up the fight, a lot of people have said to me 'when are you going to accept that Derek is how he is and he’s not going to change?'

Nick Ferrari speaks to Kate Garraway

"And I’ve said you know what, if he is how he is that’s still wonderful, as long as we can get him enough help that we can optimise where he is, that’s still a miracle.

But, if you broke your arm, you wouldn't just think I’ve got a broken arm, now I'll live with it, you would try and get it mended and if it couldn't be fixed properly you would try and get therapy to try and optimise that fixing."

Kate and Derek flew to Monterrey in Mexico during November 2021 so he could undergo a medical trial which Kate thinks could herald a pioneering treatment for people with Covid and other problems.

But she insisted she did not want to raise people’s hopes yet.

The couple, who have two children, will fly out for 28 days in March, when doctors will monitor Derek’s brain, liver and lungs.

The documentary begins in April 2021, when Derek came home from hospital.

Kate said Derek would die in three days if he stopped receiving care, and worries that as she has toughened over the ordeal that she is sometimes less friendly to people she knows.

Kate Garraway gives update on husband Derek's condition

But despite her family's pain over the last two years, she still appears full of life and takes the positives.

"I've learned that I'm incredibly lucky because I have incredibly supportive bosses. And many people who are in my situation, and there are upwards of 7 million of them that is caring for someone they love, not in a professional capacity.

"I'm very lucky to have people that allow me to still bring income into the home and also keep the home afloat. Many people have to give up work and go on benefits.

"And that seems bonkers to me because then you've got an entire family on benefits. So I've been able to do that, Even though it's been very tough at times, I require a lot of patience.

"And I'm very lucky that I've got lots of friends and family around me AND many people don't have that too. I've learned that I'm very lucky to have the chance to fight on for something more."

Kate Garraway: Caring for Derek is on ITV1 tonight at 9pm.

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Home Secretary James Cleverly (left) and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper take part in a live immigration debate on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast at Global Studios in Leicester Square, London. Picture date: Tuesday June 25, 2024.

James Cleverly debates Yvette Cooper on immigration | Watch Again

Yvette Cooper slammed Just Stop Oil as 'pathetic'

Yvette Cooper slams 'pathetic' Just Stop Oil as she brands Stonehenge stunt a 'total disgrace'

Laura Saunders, the Conservative candidate for Bristol North West

Tory candidate being investigated over alleged election date bet is 'married to Conservative Director of Campaigns'

Gambling probes into two Tory candidates are a 'betrayal of trust' in Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove has said.

Gove says election bets are ‘betrayal of Prime Minister’s trust’ as second Tory candidate investigated by regulator

Keir Starmer came out on top after LBC’s two exclusive phone-ins

Keir Starmer comes out on top after LBC phone-ins – as Rishi Sunak seen as ‘overwhelmingly negative’

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer during LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast

'We would seek a better agreement' Keir Starmer tells LBC where he thinks "botched" Brexit deal can be improved

Sir Keir Starmer speaks to LBC

‘No magic wand’ to recruit more teachers as Starmer insists removing ‘tax breaks’ for private schools is ‘tough choice’

Tom Weatherall is still searching for his treasured medals which went missing in France

Renewed plea for missing medals lost in France as RAF veteran gifted with set of replicas

'Economically Brexit's working': Nigel Farage says but claims it has 'not been properly implimented'

'Economically Brexit's working': Nigel Farage says but claims it has 'not been properly implemented'

Nigel Farage says Germans should 'get a sense of humour' amid calls for football fans who chant 'Ten German Bombers' to be prosecuted

Nigel Farage says Germans need to 'get a sense of humour' if football fans sing Ten German Bombers chant

Nigel Farage in the LBC studio today and (right) on the Reform UK campaign bus in Barnsley, South Yorkshire this week

'This is how ordinary people speak': Farage defends Reform UK candidates after anti-Islam and far-right comments exposed

Tory Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride was put on the spot by an LBC listener from a "Blue Wall" constituency rained down a barrage of complaints about soaring mortgages, the NHS crisis, crumbling schools and roads, and dentist shortages.

'Why would anyone sane vote for the Tories?': Minister put on the spot with barrage of complaints from LBC listener

Mr Weatherall's lost medals

Nick Ferrari offers £500 reward for return of RAF veteran's medals lost yesterday in Ranville, France

Kemi Badenoch rules out serving alongside Nigel Farage after he hints at Tory takeover.

Nigel Farage 'wants to destroy the Conservative Party', Kemi Badenoch tells LBC

'We've got to give these people justice': Ministers vow to address any criminal wrongdoing in infected blood report

'We've got to give these people justice': Ministers vow to address any criminal wrongdoing in infected blood report

'Minuscule state' of RAF is 'utterly pathetic' meaning just one plane available for D-Day 80th anniversary parachute jumps

'Minuscule state' of RAF is 'utterly pathetic' with just one plane available for D-Day 80th anniversary parachute jumps