KATE Garraway has spoken for the first time about a terrifying secret hospital dash that saw her collapse on the floor in A&E.
The Good Morning Britain star, who has been primary carer to her seriously ill husband Derek Draper ever since he suffered severe, life-changing complications from coronavirus in early 2020, said she felt guilty after a kind comment from a cardiologist at the hospital.
In her new book, The Strength Of Love, Kate, 56, documents how she woke up early one morning to find herself in a temporary paralysis and with searing chest pain.
On her way into work, Kate had to ask the driver to stop the car so she could vomit and was overcome with dizziness.
As soon as show bosses learned how Kate was feeling they urged her to speak to resident doctor Hilary Jones, who told her she needed to go to hospital right away.
Proud Kate refused to go in an ambulance and instead went in a taxi with a junior producer named Charlie.
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In her book, Kate explains: "When we arrived at the hospital, we almost literally fell into A&E.
“I think I’m going to have to lie down,' I said, and collapsed on the floor. Poor Charlie ended up half-carrying, half-dragging me across the room.
"Suddenly I was swept into a first response area, where they quickly put monitors on my chest, took blood tests and blood pressure rates and measured oxygen levels in my blood.
"I was given painkillers while we waited for the results.
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"Eventually the cardiologist came back and wanted to speak to me on my own.
“You’ll be pleased to know the tests show you are not having a heart attack right now,” he said.
“Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. There are lots of issues with your heart that we still can’t rule out.”
"But the good news was he was letting me go home to rest before they did any more tests.
"He had been so kind and I felt relieved.
"I reasoned that they wouldn’t let me go if my case was that serious.
"Before I left, he said, 'It’s a huge pleasure to meet you. You’re such an inspiration and my wife loves you. She’s a carer for her mother and we both think you’re doing so much good by speaking out on things'.
"I started to cry. 'I’m not doing any good for anybody.'
"I felt like I was failing on every front, and his kindness made me feel so guilty."
While dealing with her own health scare, Kate couldn't escape thinking about her own husband's plight, the effect it had had on the family and her desire to keep many plates spinning.
But if she was to continue functioning as she needed to then something had to give and, eventually, Kate made the necessary changes to her life.
She writes: "I’ve allowed myself time to grieve for our old life. I’ve tried to get on top of our finances, and started slowly to put in place some rituals and techniques to help me achieve some mental space.
"I’ve pushed Derek to see his friends, and made more time to see mine too.
"I began to declutter the house, to gradually let go of the past while still holding on to things that are important now.
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"The happy ending I desperately wanted to bring you still eludes us.
"But, ultimately, we still believe that Derek can improve and we are finding ways to exist as a family while the journey continues."
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