Doctor Hilary says Kate Garraway’s husband Derek Draper was ‘panting after every word’ before he was rushed to hospital – The Sun
I’m used to every other Good Morning Britain presenter calling me for medical advice, but something about Kate’s call was different.
This wasn’t an airy question “Can I just ask you one thing Doc?”
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Derek Draper and Kate Garraway in happier timesPhoto credit: Rex Features
There was real concern and concern in her voice. It was about Derek.
He had had some unrelated shoulder and back pains that were getting worse, but now he had sinusitis-like symptoms and severe headaches.
She said he looked terrible and felt terrible, and worse, he was increasingly and puzzlingly breathless.
So I asked him to speak directly and Kate handed him the phone.
Derek was hospitalized with coronavirus in MarchPhoto credit: PA: Press Association
It sounded clear, concise and calm, but gasped after every other word.
I couldn’t specifically diagnose COVID-19 over the phone, but I knew right away that this was serious.
I asked him to take the deepest breath he could and hold him.
A man his age with no previous breathing problems should be able to last 45 to 60 seconds fairly easily.
She said, “He fought the most extraordinary battle.”Photo credit: Rex Features
Derek only made it eight seconds and then was really puffed up.
“Don’t even bother with NHS 111 or your GP,” I said to Kate.
“Call an ambulance. Now. Call 999 and tell them Derek is short of breath.”
The paramedics were brilliant as always and Derek was immediately admitted to Whittington Hospital where tests were positive for COVID-19.
Kate called Dr. Hilary and was very concerned about her husband’s healthPhoto credit: Rex Features
It soon became apparent that there were signs of multiple organs involved, but the worst part, however, was the feeling of suffocation and the alarming lack of oxygen in his blood.
He later asked the medical team to be placed in an induced coma and on a ventilator.
That was many weeks ago and this cruel virus, which can cause liver, kidney and heart failure as well as inflammation in the blood vessels in the brain, played its terrible repertoire in the Dereks body.
He even underwent emergency treatment called ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) in a specialty hospital to artificially increase the oxygen levels in his blood using a type of cardiopulmonary bypass machine that uses anticoagulants to maintain circulation.
Dr. Hilary said Derek gasped before going to the hospitalPhoto credit: PA: Press Association
But Derek is still alive and his body is still fighting 10 weeks later.
Many victims of COVID-19 have fully recovered even after several weeks in intensive care. Others weren’t so lucky. Kate was amazing with Derek, with her children, and in herself, but she’s also realistic.
This is a novel, poorly understood, and unpredictable virus, and it is impossible to know for sure the outlook for patients like Derek.
Kate checked in to GMB this morning to say that Derek beat coronavirus but is in a comaCredit: see caption.
We know from international experience that the recovery that everyone is praying for can be very slow and sometimes never complete.
Why does a previously healthy middle-aged man without underlying diseases become so sick so quickly when others are hardly affected?
Doctors are already trying to understand this.
Meanwhile, Kate lives with excruciating uncertainty.
Dr. Hilary said everyone was talking about Derek at GMBPhoto credit: Rex Features
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Derek is now testing negative for the virus.
The organism itself was removed from its body through the development of a natural immunity. But that was slow and the damage it did remains evident.
He is in the best medical hands, and with Kate’s continued love and support, he has every possible chance of getting his way.
He won’t be out of our thoughts.
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