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Kate Garraway says cost of husband’s care exceeded ITV salary

Kate Garraway has said the £16,000 monthly cost of her husband Derek Draper’s care was more than her salary from ITV and caused her to rack up huge debts.

The TV star announced that her husband had died at the age of 56 in January, after a lengthy battle with the long-term effects of Covid.

The final year of his life is documented in a new programme, in which Draper speaks on camera for the first time, saying: “I want you to hear my story.”

He adds: “I want to be heard.”

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Derek Draper died earlier this year after a long battle with the long-term effects of Covid (Tim Ireland/PA)

In the documentary, Garraway says: “Derek’s care costs more than my salary from ITV and that is before you pay for a mortgage, before you pay any household bills, before you pay for anything for the kids, so we are at a crunch point.

“I am in debt. I can’t earn enough money to cover my debt because I am managing Derek’s care and I can’t even use the money I do have to support Derek’s recovery because it’s going on the basics all the time.”

She added: “I’m not going to pretend that I am poorly paid, I have an incredible job that I love, which is well-paid, but it’s not enough.”

Good Morning Britain star Garraway previously chronicled the impact of caring for her husband in two other ITV documentaries – Finding Derek and Caring For Derek.

She says in the new ITV programme, Kate Garraway: Derek’s Story: “Time and time again the system tell us that Derek isn’t sick enough, doesn’t have enough of a health need to qualify for funded care.

“I’ve appealed but that still hasn’t been processed two-and-a-half, three years later.

“If this is what it’s like for me, what on Earth is it like for everybody else?

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Kate Garraway with Derek Draper and their children in 2019 (Steve Parsons/PA)

“Something has to be done, or the whole service, the people working in it, everything is going to break.

“Derek’s care, the basic needs, not including any therapy, which I am happy to pay on top, is nearly £4,000 a week. How can I afford that? How can anybody afford £16,000 a month?

“Please God, there could be another 40 years of this.”

She continued: “We are entirely reliant on extraordinary carers but the system in which they work in unbelievably complicated, and underfunded, and trying to meet an impossible need.

“Why is it that people who get sick and it’s no longer considered the right thing for them to be in hospital… why does coming home feel like falling off a cliff?”

In the programme Garraway explains that she is not strong enough to push her husband’s wheelchair or get him into bed.

One scene shows him undergoing mobility therapy, and wailing and branding himself “pathetic” as he struggles to stand up to grab a walking frame.

Garraway also details Draper’s health struggles and her role as his carer affected their relationship.

She said: “I have accepted that (my future as a carer), but how that translates into the relationship is a work in progress.

“Sometimes you show love with a big bunch of flowers, sometimes it’s bringing a cup of tea at the right moment, and he can’t do that any of those things for me.

“So he’s trying to work out how to love me – I know he loves me, but how does he show that? And I’m trying to work out if I feel loved by him. I know I am loved, so we have got a whole journey to go on there.”

– Kate Garraway: Derek’s Story airs on Tuesday March 26 at 9pm on ITV1, ITVX and STV.