The heartwarming smile from husband Derek that Kate Garraway feared she might never witness again 1

The heartwarming smile from husband Derek that Kate Garraway feared she might never witness again

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Kate Garraway and Covid-hit husband Derek enjoy a family trip to a pantomime – and he flashes the heartwarming smile that she feared she might never witness again

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It is a moment that Kate Garraway feared would never happen.

But after 21 difficult months, she has finally been able to enjoy a family outing with her husband Derek Draper as he continues to battle the ravages of Covid.

Though still weak and poorly from the devastating effects of the virus, the former political adviser managed to raise a smile, as our heartwarming pictures show.

And that, quite understandably, brought a look of glee to Ms Garraway’s face, too, as they enjoyed an afternoon out at the pantomime with their two children.

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Mr Draper had been allowed home for Christmas in what the presenter poignantly called ‘the greatest gift’ she could receive.

‘Last Christmas Eve, we did have a lot of promise and a lot of hope but Derek was in hospital,’ she recalled. 

‘We had no idea whether he was going to live or die, praying that it was going in the right direction.’

Though still weak and poorly from the devastating effects of the virus, former political adviser Derek Draper managed to raise a smile after a family trip to Cinderella at Richmond Theatre

Though still weak and poorly from the devastating effects of the virus, former political adviser Derek Draper managed to raise a smile after a family trip to Cinderella at Richmond Theatre

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The heartwarming smile from husband Derek that Kate Garraway feared she might never witness again 2

After 21 difficult months, Kate Garraway has finally been able to enjoy a family outing with her husband Derek Draper as he continues to battle the ravages of Covid

The trip to watch Cinderella at Richmond Theatre in West London is the first time the 54-year-old (centre) has been seen outside since contracting Covid in March 2020

The trip to watch Cinderella at Richmond Theatre in West London is the first time the 54-year-old (centre) has been seen outside since contracting Covid in March 2020

The trip to watch Cinderella at Richmond Theatre in West London is the first time the 54-year-old has been seen outside since contracting Covid in March 2020.

He was so severely ill he was placed in a medically induced coma for several months, and continues to have ‘extraordinary problems with communication, mobility is very limited, massive problems with fatigue and sometimes it’s like he’s not present with you,’ in Ms Garraway’s bravely honest words.

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But despite such momentous troubles, the couple enjoyed a trip to the theatre with Darcy, 15, and son Billy, 12.

The children hugged their father tightly as they waited for a taxi back to their home in Islington, North London, after the show.

The former political advisor was rushed to hospital last March after falling gravely ill with the unpredictable respiratory bug (pictured in 2019)

The former political advisor was rushed to hospital last March after falling gravely ill with the unpredictable respiratory bug (pictured in 2019)

The panto stars Anton Du Beke, who was Ms Garraway’s partner when she took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2007.

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These touching pictures were taken on Wednesday, just two days before she described his slow but positive progress on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. 

Speaking of how she was heartened by signs of his recovery, she said: ‘We were playing a silly game, one of those moral question games…and they asked “Who is likely to find money on the floor and keep it?” and everyone in the room said all at the same time “Darcy,” and he started to laugh. 

‘And honestly, it was just the most lovely moment because you thought he does get it, he does understand. And he’s right! Because she is the most likely!’

Derek Draper was so severely ill he was placed in a medically induced coma for several months, and continues to have ‘extraordinary problems with communication'

Derek Draper was so severely ill he was placed in a medically induced coma for several months, and continues to have ‘extraordinary problems with communication’

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Ms Garraway, 54, also delivered a touching message about love when she appeared on ITV’s Royal Carols: Together At Christmas on Friday

Ms Garraway, 54, also delivered a touching message about love when she appeared on ITV’s Royal Carols: Together At Christmas on Friday 

Ms Garraway, 54, also delivered a touching message about love when she appeared on ITV’s Royal Carols: Together At Christmas on Friday. 

She read the poem Love Came Down At Christmas by Christina Rossetti in front of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the concert, which had been recorded at Westminster Abbey on December 9.

She also told Women’s Own magazine they would be having a subdued Christmas, adding: ‘It’s adjusting to a new normal, but also grateful he’s here at all…which we feared would never happen.’

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