How Derek Draper fought long Covid for years after he caught it age 52 and was left in a coma and battling sepsis

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Kate Garraway’s husband Derek Draper has died aged 56 after battling long Covid for years, the TV presenter confirmed today. 

Derek had been plagued with health woes after contracting the virus in March 2020, which saw him put in a coma, battle sepsis and left with difficulties communicating.

The former lobbyist and political adviser suffered a cardiac arrest in early December, with Kate spending Christmas with him in hospital.

In a statement on Instagram this morning, she revealed that the father-of-two died ‘surrounded by his family’ and that she was ‘holding his hand throughout the last long hours and when he passed’.

Here, MailOnline details his battle against long Covid.

Derek, 56, who has been plagued with health woes after contracting Covid in 2020, was said to be in critical condition (pictured in June with Kate’s parents Gordon and Marilyn) 

Kate revealed she was holding her husband's hand when she died

Kate revealed she was holding her husband’s hand when she died

MARCH 2020

Derek contracted the virus in March 2020.

Kate revealed she and then Prince Charles had got ‘relatively close’ at the Prince’s Trust Awards on March 11 – Charles was later diagnosed with Covid in mid-March.

She said: ‘Around the 29/30 March, I came home came in and said [to Derek] “god you look ill”.’

‘He said he had a headache, numbness in his right hand, and was struggling to breathe.

‘I rang Dr Hilary (Jones) and tried to get through, he talked to Derek. He said put me back on, I think you need to call an ambulance’.

Derek was then taken into hospital on March 30 where he remained in an unresponsive condition.


Derek was admitted to intensive care and was ‘very ill’, Kate said at the time.

She added: ‘I’m afraid he is still in a deeply critical condition, but he is still here, which means there is hope.’

Kate and her children isolated at home after she displayed ‘mild symptoms’. 


Kate said: ‘The journey for me and my family seems to be 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 & so there is still hope.’

She added: ‘I’ll never give up on that because Derek’s the love of my life but at the same time I have absolute uncertainty’.


On June 5, Kate revealed Derek was free from Covid but was still fighting against the damage the virus had inflicted on his body.


On July 5, Kate revealed Derek had woken from his coma, but remained in a serious condition.

Later that month, Kate revealed she’d paid an ‘extra emotional’ first visit to Derek and admitted she was ‘frustrated’ by his slow progress.


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

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


At the end of September, Derek reportedly becomes the longest surviving patient with Covid after spending 184 days in and out of intensive care.

Kate reveals Derek had lost 8st during his battle.

The presenter announced she was returning to her Smooth Radio show so that Derek could hear her voice.


On October 30, Kate revealed that Derek had spoken for the first time in seven months, saying the word ‘pain’ to his wife, who watched on ‘in tears’ over FaceTime.

Kate said a day later that her husband continued to improve and no longer needed a ventilator to breathe.


Kate reveals she and her children got to visit Derek in hospital over the Christmas period — the first time her family had seen him since he was initially hospitalised.

But she added she was then banned from seeing him due to fresh Covid restrictions introduced during the Government’s third lockdown.


Kate revealed that she was adapting her home to suit Derek’s needs when he leaves hospital, in the ITV documentary Finding Derek.

The programmed was praised by viewers for offering a heartbreaking look at the long-term effects of a Covid infection.

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


Kate said that Derek was finally allowed to leave hospital but would require round-the-clock care once he was returned home.


Kate revealed that despite now being home with his family, his communication abilities were ‘minimal’ and he ‘couldn’t really move’.


Speaking on GMB Kate reveals that Derek is battling more long Covid symptoms admitting: ‘All the time there are more issues!’.


During an appearance on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, Kate said that Derek had 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.


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


Kate offered a glimpse into the daily struggles of looking after her husband amid his battle with long Covid in the documentary Caring For Derek

She also said that Derek would die within three days if he was left alone to care for himself.

It was also revealed that Kate and Derek undertook a ‘gruelling’ trip to Mexico in early 2022 for experimental treatment aiming to improve his health.


On July 6, Kate revealed that Derek had been re-admitted to hospital after suffering a ‘downturn’.

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

It was later confirmed that Derek had contracted ‘life-threatening sepsis’ as a complication from a kidney infection. 


Kate became overwhelmed as she confronted former health secretary Matt Hancock over his handling of the pandemic and his decision to go on I’m a Celebrity …Get Me Out of Here.

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

Describing public anger towards him, Kate added of his decision: ‘This gives the impression you still don’t get why they are cross. You still don’t get why people are upset. They want to hold you to more account.’


Kate revealed that Derek was once again receiving care in hospital, as she shared the emotional moment Sir Elton John dedicated a song to the ‘inspiring’ couple.

She shared the emotional moment Sir Elton John dedicated a song to the ‘inspiring’ couple, writing on Instagram: ‘Yes Derek has been back in hospital this week & yes there’s such a long road ahead but #eltonjohn & @davidfurnish you gave the kids & Derek a moment that we will never forget and has lifted their spirits again to feel anything is possible.’

It was also reported that Kate was planning a trip across the world for pioneering treatment in a ‘final hope’ to help her husband.


Derek suffers a major heart attack which left him fighting for his life once again.

Kate spent Christmas with him at the hospital.


On January 5 Kate announces Derek has died.

In a post on social media, she said that her husband died surrounded by family and that she was ‘holding his hand throughout the last long hours’.

She said his Covid infection had left him with lasting damage to his heart which had led to ‘further complications’. 

Kate also thanked the medical teams for making his final moments as ‘comfortable and dignified as possible.’

MailOnline understands Derek passed away on Wednesday night (January 3) in a North London hospital.


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