Good Morning Britain star Kate Garraway has had the nation in tears with her regular updates about the condition of her husband.

Derek Draper had an unusually severe form of long Covid which nearly cost him his life.

Coronavirus ravaged the former Labour Party adviser’s body from top to bottom, causing brain inflammation, kidney failure, damage to his liver and pancreas and his heart to stop several times.

He lost eight stone and was left with holes in his lungs from repeat infections.

The 55-year-old did manage to return to the north London home he shares with his radio presenter partner and their two children but requires round-the-clock care.

Even two-and-a-half years on from first contracting the virus, his wife — who is on ITV's DNA Journey to learn about her family history on Thursday (October 6) — said he still struggles to communicate.

Who is Derek Draper?

Derek Draper is a PR and former political advisor who was born in Chorley, Lancashire, on August 15, 1967.

Draper entered politics after university, securing a job in 1992 with Peter Mandelson, then MP for Hartlepool and a central player in Tony Blair’s New Labour government.

He later shifted to head up a lobbying firm called GPC Market Access between 1996 and 1999.

While working there, he was embroiled in a scandal known as “lobbygate”.

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Draper was caught on tape boasting to an undercover reporter from The Observer, posing as a businessman, offering to sell access to government ministers.

He denied the allegations and accused the newspaper of attempting to entrap him.

The incident saw Draper leave politics to retrain as a psychotherapist, studying for a masters in the US.

In 2008, Draper made a return to British politics and a year later set-up the website LabourList, a blog that focused on Labour Party news. It remains active to this day.

The former journalist quit as editor of the website after becoming involved in another scandal.

This time it was an attempt by Damian McBride — an adviser to then Prime Minister Gordon Brown — to smear members of the Conservative Party, including the likes of David Cameron and his family, with fake allegations.

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Draper later apologised for his part in the affair, with leaked emails showing he told McBride his fake allegations blog was a "brilliant" idea.

He ended up quitting as LabourList editor, saying: "I should have said straight away that the idea was wrong."

Draper married Garraway in 2005 in Camden, north London. They have two children together.

He was still practising as a psychotherapist when he contracted Covid in March 2020.

Derek Draper health update

Kate Garraway has spent thousands of pounds adapting the family home to allow Derek to live with them following the way Covid ravaged his physical health, including turning their garage into a wet room.

Earlier this year, Derek went to the US to undergo a medical trial but he was taken seriously ill over summer when he contracted sepsis and had to undergo emergency surgery on his kidneys.

Kate, who made the documentary Kate Garraway: Caring For Derek, was forced to take three weeks off work, revealing she was spending all her time at the hospital.

"His kidneys were really badly infected, blocked, and the challenge now is to save them," said the 55-year-old.

And she revealed that her husband's communication is still seriously limited two and a half years on.

"In a sense Derek – because of Covid – has a version of this where he can understand, sometimes do odd words, but can't express himself," she said on GMB, vowing to continue her fight to cure him.

"He's fought so hard to stay in this world and I'm not giving up on him ever. He will have moments of clarity and it's like he disappears again."

In a glimmer of hope, doctors believe there will be a 'trajectory' of recovery, but have warned that it will be a slow process.


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