The last photo Derek Draper in public shows him supporting wife Kate Garraway (Picture: Andrew Matthews / POOL / AFP)
‘I’m sad to have to tell you all that my darling husband Derek has passed away. As some of you may know he has been critically ill following a cardiac arrest in early December which, because of the damage inflicted by Covid in March 2020, led to further complications,’ she wrote.
Kate, also 56, went on to share that he was ‘surrounded by his family in his final days and I was by his side holding his hand throughout the last long hours and when he passed’.
Draper’s death comes a month after he suffered a ‘massive’ heart attack, which saw Kate cancel all work commitments to be by his side.
Although the couple were followed by cameras for two documentaries sharing the upheaval that dominated their family’s lives post-pandemic, the last time he was seen in public was back in June.
Send Kate Garraway and her children your support after Derek Draper’s death
The author and former political advisor was hospitalised last month after suffering a ‘huge heart attack’, and has been requiring full-time care since contracting Covid in 2020.
He was with parents-in-law Gordon and Marilyn Garraway for her MBE ceremony (Picture: PA)
At the time, Draper attended a ceremony at Windsor Castle where Kate was officially made a Member of the Order of the British Empire.
They were accompanied by her parents, Gordon and Marilyn Garraway.
The honour recognised her services to broadcasting, journalism, and to charity.
Watching on, a dapper-looking Derek beamed with pride as he sat in his wheelchair.
The couple first met back in 2005, and were married a year later (Picture: James Gourley/ ITV/ Shutterstock)
Raising awareness and educating people on her husband’s condition, Kate made a series of documentaries showing what it was like like behind closed doors as she cared for him.
Speaking of the accolade last year, Kate said she felt a bit ‘awkward’ but was ‘honoured’ to receive the award.
‘I actually feel very awkward about it all really, I don’t know why, because I’m thrilled to bits and incredibly honoured,’ she said.
‘But you just sort of think “What? Me?”, and then you think it’s not real.’
Draper contracted Covid in 2020 and faced various health challenges in the following three years (Picture: ITV)
She went on to share that she’d also come under fire by some who questioned why she was receiving the award.
‘I think it has [evoked] strange feelings. And there have been a few comments since it was announced of people saying “Why has she got this? I look after my loved one”,’ she explained.
‘I haven’t got it for looking after Derek. It is for broadcasting and I think also charity work.
But you know there’s lots of people that you feel deserve it more. So it’s a strange feeling.’
When sharing the news of Draper’s death, Kate threw her support behind those who had also helped care for him.
‘I just want to thank all the medical teams who fought so hard to save him and to make his final moments as comfortable and dignified as possible,’ she said.
‘Sending so much love and thanks to all of you who have so generously given our family so much support.’
She added: ‘Rest gently and peacefully now Derek, my love, I was so lucky to have you in my life.’
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