Kate Garraway has shared a message to the viewers of Good Morning Britain after announcing the sad death of her husband Derek Draper last week.
The former political adviser passed away at the age of 56 following several years of serious health complications inflicted by coronavirus. Derek had been critically ill following a heart attack in early December.
In a pre-recorded tribute sent via email and read out by host Susanna Reid at the start of Monday’s show, Kate said: “Hello everyone. Thank you all so much for all the wonderful messages you have sent me. It really does mean so much to me, Darcey, Billy, and all of Derek’s family.
“They are an extraordinary comfort, and I am so lucky to feel connected to you all through these messages at this time when the raw pain of grief can be so isolating.
“And that is the wonderful thing, isn’t it, about our Good Morning Britain family – that all of us on the team and all of you watching from home are connected, supporting each other through the challenges of life.”
The presenter, who is a mum to teenagers Darcey, 17, and Billy, 14, continued: “Knowing that we can also laugh at the fun and joys together that we share too.
“I am certain that it is the support you have given me and sent to Derek that has sustained us through these tough nearly 4 years, motivating us to fight on for each other and for those that can’t fight for themselves.
“And it will sustain us to continue that fight in the weeks and months and years to come. I look forward to waking up with you very soon again on Good Morning Britain to celebrate life in all its wonder and challenge again.
“I hope you forgive me for taking some time to be at home. My family is so grateful we could be with our dearest Derek in his final moments, something not all gets to share.
“Maybe you too are going through grief yourself, or have done in the past. I send love and support to you too. We are taking time to heal ourselves, now that Darcey and Billy know their Daddy is at peace and free from pain and struggle.”
Signing off the message, she said: “I shall be thinking of you all until we are reunited very soon. In the meantime, hug your loved ones close – all my love, Kate.”
Susanna was visibly emotional as she praised Kate’s tribute. “It’s absolute classic Kate that in a circumstance which is so deeply painful for her and her family,” she said. “She thinks of absolutely everybody else who might be in the same situation or may have already suffered loss.
“Kate’s unwavering devotion to Derek and her determination to help him recover from the devastating consequences of Covid has imprinted itself on everyone who knows her and also the whole nation, from the royal family to the country’s political leaders. From those who work in medicine to those who work in showbiz and to so many of you watching now.”
Derek was first diagnosed with coronavirus back in 2020 and spent 13 months in hospital before returning home, where he received round-the-clock care from specialist nurses and his wife.
Derek had been in and out of hospital since then for various reasons and in December 2023 was admitted after suffering a cardiac arrest.