Kate Garraway has had to foot sky-high bills for Derek’s “potentially life-changing” medical trials in Mexico, and for his continuing care in the UK ever since he first became ill with a severe form of long Covid. The 55-year-old Good Morning Britain star has now admitted that “every day is a rollercoaster”, following a moment recently when her beloved husband was considered close to death.
She has now clarified in her latest interview that she has no ability to skip NHS waiting lists, in spite of her GMB fame.
Kate felt compelled to speak out following the rumours that have circulated about her being prioritised since he became ill.
“Perhaps there is the assumption that because I’m on the telly, and because people have heard so much of Derek’s story… that we’ve had special treatment from the NHS or bypassed waiting lists,” she told The Sun.
However, she then adamantly continued: “We haven’t jumped any queues, which is just as it should be.”
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She added that it has been extremely “tough” financially, even as she awaits referrals from three years earlier.
Amid the struggle to get her husband the medical care he needs, she has also had her heart broken by the terrifying reactions he often displays to his plight.
“Sometimes he lies there, unable to move, with tears rolling down his face,” she lamented.
She then added that no matter how difficult she finds it to stand by and witness his ill health, it must be even more difficult for him.
Kate and Derek once shared a business together, but she has been forced to wind it up as he is no longer capable of work.
She has also been forced to take on assistants to care for her cripplingly ill husband so that she can return to her usual TV schedule.
The GMB household name was initially forced to take long periods of time off in the early stages of his condition, and the household income has been affected now that there is only one breadwinner.
Besides that, Derek’s ill health was at its worst in the middle of the Covid pandemic, leaving Kate isolated and with almost no one to turn to in person for months.
“Derek was always so incredibly supportive of my work, but I didn’t realise just how much he did do in that area until he couldn’t anymore,” she explained sadly.
Meanwhile, on the cost of his treatment, she elaborated: “As anyone with a loved one who is seriously ill knows, the costs go through the roof in so many ways.”
The presenter, who has been nominated with a BAFTA for her portrayal of his story, admits that she has received some help.
For instance, his 11,000 mile round trip to Mexico for medical trials was funded with the assistance of “friends, colleagues and employers”.
Kate is all set for him to try out a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, something which former A Place in the Sun presenter Jonnie Irwin has also been using in his battle with terminal lung cancer.
She is also hoping for him to return to Mexico to continue trials there, after a successful first visit where he received round-the-clock care from experts for 28 days.
However, she has already spent tens of thousands on re-adapting her home to make it usable for Derek, who is now confined to a wheelchair.
He spent over a year in hospital following his first diagnosis with Covid, and was at one point in an induced coma and relying on a ventilator.
However, Kate has never given up hope that her husband will one day return to the former self that she once knew and still dearly loves.
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