Derek Draper has been in hospital for a year after being admitted with Covid-19 last March, and while he is free of the virus, it has wreaked havoc on his body.
He remains in and out of consciousness, while he has suffered liver and pancreatic damage, has holes in his lungs from pneumonia and has lost eight stone in weight.
In an agonising call to the Good Morning Britain presenter from his intensive care bed, Derek admitted he was struggling not to give up on his recovery.
In her upcoming documentary Kate Garraway: Finding Derek, which has been previewed by The Mirror, she is filmed on a call with him, where he says: “Kate, there’s no way out. There’s no way out. I’ve got to the point where I just think fuck it. Just fuck it.”
She asks: “As in die?”
He responds: “Yes ... I don’t know how to cope, I don’t know how to cope.”
Kate then says: “You don’t know how to cope with it. OK. I know you feel like you’re trapped in your head and it’s terrifying. But you’re coming home, you’re coming back to your life and you will be the person, even better than you were before. You will be.
“I will find a way to make it better. I promised you that I would save you and I’m going to save you, I will find a way, but you just have to hang in there.”
Speaking about that conversation, Kate told The Mirror: “Derek had been drifting in and out of consciousness and when he said that, it was absolutely devastating, but it showed me he was still in there. Even though it was terrible to think his spirits were so low.”
Derek said those words back in November, and doctors told her it left him physically exhausted to speak, describing it as feeling the same as “running three marathons”.
The conversation occurred just hours before Kate was due to host Good Morning Britain, and while Derek had slipped into an unconscious state, she stayed on the call with him through the night so he could hear her voice right until she went on air.
Kate said she then asked nurses at Derek’s hospital to put GMB on the TV so that he would not feel alone, and called him back as soon as the show was finished.
“It was a very strange, very strange morning,” she said.
Last week, Kate admitted Derek’s condition had deteriorated “dramatically” since she was last able to visit him at Christmas, with the presenter saying she suspects it is to do with a lack of contact as there is no medical explanation.
She also said she is unsure if Derek will have “any kind of life again”.
During an appearance on The One Show to discuss the documentary, Kate also spoke of how Derek’s brain is “no longer his friend and he’s fighting to get out”.
Kate Garraway: Finding Derek airs on Tuesday at 9pm on ITV.