Kate Garraway on the moment husband Derek returned home after year in hospital with Covid

"He immediately burst into tears and there was lots of hugging."

Kate Garraway has described how her husband Derek "burst into tears" as he returned home after more than a year in hospital being treated for Covid-19.

Former political adviser Derek Draper, 53, was admitted in March last year with coronavirus symptoms, before being placed in a coma.

Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain, Garraway said the couple's two children ran downstairs for an emotional reunion with their dad.

"As we pulled up, I could see two little faces of Darcey and Billy looking out the window and I could see Billy literally say 'he's here!' and they sort of ran out and ran forward.

"He immediately burst into tears, there was a lot of hugging and got him inside. He absolutely knew he was home."

  • Watch the full interview as Kate Garraway tells GMB husband Derek is home:

Draper has been taken off all machines and breathing apparatus but will receive 24-hour care at the couple's home, which Garraway has adapted in his absence to make it more accessible.

Last month, ITV broadcast Finding Derek, a documentary exploring Draper’s illness and its effect on their two children – daughter Darcey, 15, and 11-year-old son Billy.

Speaking on Friday, Garraway told GMB the move had been made in the hope of continuing Derek's recovery.

"I think anybody whose husband or loved one has been in hospital for a long time, what you want is for them to be home. That's what you’re absolutely campaigning and wanting to happen.

The family on holiday. Credit: GMB

"It’s been a lot of discussions, even before Christmas about what is the best way to go, because it’s kind of balancing… it’s a very unique situation, Derek’s situation.

 "It's been about ooking at his cognition and looking at his consciousness, and trying to think about what would be the best way to improve that.

"There have been improvements [...] but it felt as though everything had stalled medically and if anything was going slightly back.

"It does feel a little bit like the hospital has come home with me at the moment, as we’ve got all sorts of professional people making sure everything is safe and then see how being in the family environment could help.”

Garraway told GMB there had been "so many little moments" of joy having her husband home.

"I've been saying to him all the time during the coma - 'when you get home, you can have one of my casseroles' - and he can swallow a bit now.

"So I said 'right, let's see if I can get you somehow around a table with all four of us'.

"And as I was laying out the plates, I realised I was laying out four," she recalled emotionally.

"We weren’t all sitting around the dinner table, we constructed a version of it. He can’t really move. We do need a lot of help."

On her husband's ongoing recovery she said: "It feels like the start of a huge chapter, but a really really big and important one".

"We’ve got to stay positive and have hope. We’ll get there. He’s here!"

"It’s not just help with looking after him, because it is 24-hour care, and I haven’t really slept as you can probably tell.

"I will ease off, I’m just very aware at the moment and it’s a whole new team.

"So he’s probably got a little bit used to the people in hospital and so it’s a new team now that are working with him and helping him to come through. 

Fellow GMB presenter Ranvir Singh tweeted that the programme "and the whole country" was "thrilled" for Garraway in "finally welcoming Derek home."

Garraway has shared the turbulent journey her and her family has been on, with one scene in the documentary saw her recall being told by her husband's doctors that he was the most seriously ill person they had seen who remained alive.

In another, Garraway was seen preparing for his possible return by making their home wheelchair-friendly.

She suggested they would have a “completely different dynamic” in their marriage when he is able to leave hospital.

Garraway is also publishing a book, called The Power Of Hope, detailing “the raw and emotional story” of her husband’s illness.

During the first lockdown she posted weekly updates on Draper’s recovery to coincide with the weekly Clap For Carers.

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