Kate Garraway has heaped praised on a ‘supportive’ and ‘kind’ Elton John after he dedicated a song to the presenter’s husband Derek Draper at his O2 Arena concert on Monday.
The pair had ventured from their North London home alongside their children Darcey, 17, and Billy, 13, to watch Elton on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
But to their surprise, the 76-year-old singer gave them a special shoutout, dedicating his hit Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me to them.
According to Kate, the trip was a big ordeal for the couple – particularly for former political lobbyist Derek, 55, who has faced devastating health complications after his body was ravaged by coronavirus three years ago.
She told Smooth Radio: ‘Right up to the last minute, I wasn’t sure if it would be possible to get Derek there.
Meaningful: Kate Garraway has heaped praised on a ‘supportive’ and ‘kind’ Elton John after he dedicated a song to the presenter’s husband Derek Draper, (pictured), at his O2 Arena concert on Monday
‘It took weeks of planning and just days before, it looked like he would be too sick to attend. Even on the journey there, he seemed so weak.’
Things quickly took a turn for the better though, she said.
‘As soon as we got into the stadium and Elton went on stage, he started weeping tears of joy, and squeezed my hand so tightly. He refused to wear ear defenders for an hour so he could hear the music.’, she explained.
Kate continued: ‘But then at one point it all seemed like it might be all too much for him and he started shaking. His nurses and I took him outside the hall to let him have a moment to stretch and relax in the dark and silence.
‘After a while, I asked him if it was time to go and he said, “No… want to go back”, so we gave him ear defenders to reduce the stimulation and wheeled him back to the concert.
‘It must have been fate as that was the exact moment Elton suddenly dedicated Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me to Derek and his journey.
‘We were all in tears, the kids, Derek and even the nurses. It was completely unexpected.
‘People around us were so lovely and started clapping which was an extraordinary moment we will all treasure forever and Elton made it possible.
Big night out: The pair had ventured from their North London home alongside their children Darcey, 17, and Billy, 13, to watch Elton on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour
Tough: According to Kate, the trip was a big ordeal for the couple – particularly for former political lobbyist Derek, 55, who has faced devastating health complications after his body was ravaged by coronavirus three years ago – pictured together in 2019
‘Derek has been stuck at home for so long, so for him to experience that joy and be part of so many people’s amazing evening was just magical. Today, of course, he’s exhausted and he’s back in treatment at hospital tomorrow.
‘But his spirit is lifted and we’ll always have that special moment as a family, whatever the future holds.’
Paying tribute to the singer, she said: ‘I can’t thank Elton and David enough. They are such kind people and have been so supportive to us all over the last three years.
‘We have been surrounded by so much kindness from people everywhere. It really keeps us going through the hard times. We’re just bursting with gratitude.
Derek was diagnosed with coronavirus at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 and left in a life-threatening condition.
Doctors put him in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator and he was in hospital for 13 months.
He has been seriously ill since 2020 and has been in and out of hospital ever since.
But recognising the tough time’s the couple had been through, Elton made sure to give them something to smile about.
Taking to the stage, he told the crowd that they had endured ‘really tough times’.
As per The Sun, he continued: ‘They’re inspiring. They’ve never given up and I’m so thrilled they’re here, I can’t believe they are here.’
‘I want to dedicate this song to the people I mentioned before, but especially to you guys.’
The gesture was particularly meaningful, as Kate has spoken in the past about how she used to play the singer’s music to her husband when he was in hospital.
Thoughtful: Recognising the tough time’s the couple had been through, Elton made sure to give them something to smile about. Taking to the stage, he told the crowd that they had endured ‘really tough times’
Speaking on Good Morning Britain at the time, she revealed how the star had then reached out to her, saying: ‘Elton John contacted me. It was so strange.
‘I was like, ‘Elton… John?’ We do have a mutual friend, which I didn’t know about. And because of all the work he does with the Aids Foundation he was like, ‘What can I do to help?
‘I know a bit about antiviral stuff. And I’m on board. I’ll try to help. He’s incredible.’
Acknowledging the incredible moment, Susanna Reid shared a sweet message for Kate and Derek on Good Morning Britain.
The broadcaster, 52, was hosting the ITV show alongside former politician Ed Balls when the pair discussed Elton’s moving tribute.
Good Morning Britain’s entertainment correspondent Richard Arnold joined Susanna and Ed to reveal the special mention.
He said: ‘Our very own Kate Garraway and Derek were serenaded last night by none other than Sir Elton John himself,’ Richard explained to ITV viewers.
‘He spied them in the audience at The O2 and dedicated the track Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me to them, telling the rest of the arena how he thrilled he was, calling them an inspiring couple.’
Hearing the news, Kate replied: ‘That is so emotional, what a superstar,’ adding: ‘As are you Kate and Derek.’
Richard added: ‘It’s lovely to see them out and about because of course as we know it’s quite the feat so it’s wonderful that they got to share that moment together.’
Kate has documented her husband’s battle over the last few years – even winning awards for one of her documentaries – and admits she does so to help others who don’t have a platform.
Support: Acknowledging the incredible moment, Susanna Reid shared a sweet message for Kate Garraway and Derek Draper on today’s Good Morning Britain
Earlier this month, the pair were spotted as Kate supported her frail husband as they headed to a pub for lunch.
The couple showed their strength and determination as they made their journey to their local – which is no easy feat as Kate revealed last month there are days where Derek simply ‘cannot do anything’.
The Good Morning Britain presenter is reportedly planning a trip across the world to find pioneering treatment as a ‘last hope’.
During their outing, they were joined by a carer who pushed Derek’s wheelchair, while Kate ensured he kept warm by handing him his leather gloves.
At one point, the TV host rested her hands on his shoulders and offered some words of comfort.
After the meal, Kate was pictured carrying bags of leftovers to bring home, with insiders saying the trip was a big step.
A source told The Sun: ‘It was a lovely day out for them. Something others may take for granted, a simple trip to the pub, was a big step for them and they really enjoyed it.’
Kate is reportedly planning a trip across the world for pioneering treatment in a ‘final hope’ to help her husband.
A source told Bella Magazine: ‘This really is Kate’s desperate bid to try and save Derek’s life and she is willing to try anything.
‘She’s been looking into a number of experimental medical options around the world and particularly in Mexico in an effort to save him from the devastating effects of Covid-19.
‘Kate only wants the best for Derek. She wants to try it because she feels as though it’s her last hope.’
Derek, a former political advisor, has previously travelled to Mexico in 2021 and 2022 for clinical trials.
As a result of lockdown rules during the pandemic, Kate and the couple’s children were unable to visit him as he received treatment.
13 months later, Derek was finally allowed to go home.
However, following the long period of hospitalisation, his body was ravaged with various crippling conditions and he now remains confined to a bed and wheelchair.
While Derek’s long-term chance of recovery is still not known, the ‘utter devastation’ to his body is undeniable.
Although Kate insisted that they’d had ‘wonderful treatment’ from the NHS, which were essential in keeping her husband alive, the foreign trips offer ‘potentially life saving treatment’.
As well as the trip, the Smooth Radio presenter has had to spend ‘tens of thousands of pounds’ adapting the family home in London for Derek, which included the installation of ramps, a downstairs wet room and a makeshift downstairs bedroom.
Due to the severity of his illness and length of time spent in hospital he remains unable to walk and has developed debilitating symptoms.
In summer last year, Derek developed sepsis and was again rushed to hospital, where the severe condition nearly killed him.
‘Last hope’: It comes after the Good Morning Britain presenter is reportedly planning a trip across the world to find pioneering treatment as a ‘last hope’
Speaking about his current condition and caring for him, she told The Sun: ‘There are some days where he literally cannot do anything and it’s like the computer is switched off.
‘He cannot move, and he’s in so much pain as we are manipulating him, trying to get him more mobile so that he doesn’t regress.’
The presenter noted that despite Derek’s insistence that they carry on, she says it’s ‘unbearable’ to see him in pain, admitting it makes her ’emotional’ just speaking about it.
However, she added: ‘It also makes me fall in love with him all over again because of that spirit, that determination to keep going. Derek is trapped, but he fights on. We cling on to the good days.’
Reflecting on the ups and downs of caring for her husband, Kate remarked that every day is a ‘roller coaster’ as Derek’s spirit ‘fluctuates’.
The journalist added that it is ‘heart-breaking’ to watch her husband of 18 years unable to move with tears streaming down his face, noting that as ‘hard’ as it is for them, she ‘cannot imagine’ how tough it is for Derek.