Kate Garraway has revealed that she has been told by doctors that her husband Derek Draper stands little chance of making a meaningful recovery if he doesn't improve two years after contracting COVID-19.
The Good Morning Britain presenter has been open about Derek's battle with coronavirus after he was hospitalised in early 2020, having remained there for a year due to the damage the virus inflicted on his body.
Derek recently returned home, though requires round-the-clock care, and in her new book The Power of Hope, Kate recalled one conversation she had with a doctor about his recovery.
'I had already waited so long,' she wrote (via Daily Star). '"How long before you know more? Not how long will it take for him to recover, because you don't know if he can even recover, but how long before you might know more?"
'It was a confusing question, but I knew what I meant and he seemed to as well.'
Kate continued: 'After another long pause, he looked straight at me, then away. "Well, Kate" – the first time he had used my name – "I think it's fair to say if he is still like this after two years we will know there is very little chance of him making any meaningful recovery."
'"TWO YEARS!" I screamed inside my head.
'Up until now I had been living by the minute, hours on the phone monitoring infection levels and statistics, trying to get a handle on where Derek was, wondering every time I went to sleep if he would still be alive in the morning.
'How could I go on like this for another two years? Worse still, how could Derek be trapped like this for two years? The timescale winded me and I'm sure I must have slumped a bit in the chair.'
Kate went on to reveal that an intensive care specialist was also present, telling her that Derek had moved to the chronic phase and that 'the long, slow recovery is sometimes just as hard to bear'.
He told her: 'Derek is still very sick, at serious risk of dying. But even if he can live, and begin to recover from the huge damage COVID has wreaked throughout his body, it's not going to be quick.
'Progress is now going to be measured not in minutes, hours or days but in weeks, months and years.
'And you are going to have to bear that journey never knowing if he might ever be the person he was before, knowing he might never truly come back to you. You just have to give us time and be strong.'
Kate then recalled: 'I sensed they were trying to wrap things up. But I couldn't take in what they were saying. I wanted space to take it in. I didn't want to wrap up on this level of bleakness.'
Kate Garraway's book The Power of Hope, reflecting on the family's journey, is available now.
The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
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