‘Christmas is such a bittersweet time for Kate Garraway – her old life isn’t here anymore’

While Christmas is meant to be one of the happiest times of the year, for Kate Garraway it’s full of emotion.

This will be the fourth festive season since her husband of 18 years, Derek Draper, fell seriously ill with the Covid infection that has wreaked havoc with his health.

As the Good Morning Britain presenter recently revealed, 56-year-old Derek has been back in hospital, and a source told OK! that this time of year is full of mixed emotions for Kate.

“Christmas is a bittersweet time for her because in one sense she’s got everything she wanted in life with her family and her work, but it’s also a reminder of what she’s lost,” they said.

“As much as Kate’s committed to Derek and loves him, this time of year can be heartbreaking," they continued. "It’s such an emotional time.”

Last week, Kate, 56, told the Loose Women panel her husband was in hospital again, just weeks before Christmas, but she appeared visibly relieved as she explained it wasn’t “for horrific drama”, but due to “lots of referrals and cancellations” that delayed a planned procedure.

Kate has already spent the past three and a half years juggling her role as mum to the couple’s two children – Darcey, 17, and 14-year-old Billy – as well as advocating and caring for former lobbyist Derek, who initially spent more than two months in intensive care on a ventilator.

“The whole family are hoping Derek will be well and at home for Christmas,” our source told us.

They continued: “It would be so much nicer for her and the kids if he’s at home with them so they can spend time together as a family. But it’s a reminder that there are parts of their old life that just aren’t here any more.”

Derek has been admitted to hospital on several occasions since his initial diagnosis in March 2020, often leaving Kate wondering if he would come home again.

Writing in her recent memoir, The Strength Of Love: Embracing An Uncertain Future With Resilience And Optimism, Kate spoke honestly of the mental and physical toll his up-and-down progress had taken on her.

Recalling a time Derek was “blue-lighted back to hospital with another life-threatening development”, she wrote, “Again, I’d had the fear of losing him – the crisis just went on and on.”

Following his latest hospital stay, our source said Kate is all too familiar with the emotional rollercoaster of caring for Derek.

“Work really keeps her going, she’s always positive and hoping for the best, but progress is very slow,” the source told us.

“She’s got a great network of friends who rally round her, especially at this time of year, but she can’t often relax and enjoy herself because she’s thinking of Derek.

“At times it’s a lonely life. Derek is with her, but he’s not the person she knew and fell in love with. But she’s strong and will make sure it’s a happy time for the family.”

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