Kate Garraway: Finding Derek Review – Devotion and Honesty in the Face of Covid | Television

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 Kate Garraway: Finding Derek Review - Devotion and Honesty in the Face of Covid |  Television


A week after the UK’s first lockdown in March 2020, Derek Draper was admitted to hospital with Covid-19. And this is where the psychologist, former lobbyist and Labor campaign adviser remains. He spent months in intensive care, including time in a induced coma, after failing his liver, kidneys and heart, and has been painfully restored thanks to the tireless work of the intensive care team. .

Kate Garraway: Finding Derek (ITV) is a film presented by his wife, the Good Morning Britain presenter, who has spent about a year dealing with this amazing break in their lives and that of their two children Bill and Darcey. It’s hard to capture how gorgeous she is – in a totally insane way. Garraway is a great communicator, which you might expect from someone in their field of work. But here she’s devoid of studio artifice, as she chats with the director, with us viewers, with people online and outside. She collects information on the impact of the long Covid on patients and their families, and we remind you that being able to retain and diffuse the attention of the camera, in the right proportions, is a gift. Sharpened by experience, of course – but still something not everyone can do. (She even manages to survive an incredibly literal soundtrack that insists on being heard between her tracks on camera in case we can’t be trusted to maintain our emotional tone. At one point, during a pocket of ‘improvement for Draper, I wouldn’t were surprised if things from D: Ream can only get better were suddenly inflicted on us.)

Soundtrack aside, it’s a documentary that knows what it’s doing and does it well. He knows how much of a natural asset he is to Garraway and puts it to good use. In essence, it is the mere sight of its adaptation. She whistles, picks up Lego, hangs up the children’s coats, and oversees the builders by adapting the house for Draper’s hoped-for return. Not to mention his return to work after five months of absence (“Extra concealer today!”), Speaking with doctors on the phone and absorbing rather than collapsing under verdicts that must land like body shots (“We think there are [cognitive] pity “).

As the year progresses, his situation becomes less perilous – that is, the periods between medical crises lengthen, the regressions decrease and recede and it is proven that the essence of the man was not damaged beyond repair. “He’s definitely here,” says Garraway, now a microexpressionist, and she’s right. But her husband remains entirely dependent on 24-hour care from the staff and unable to speak for much more than a few words. The first one he says – his voice does not come back until late – is “pain”. When his voice returns, a weak and hopelessly weak thing, one of their first conversations is about how he doesn’t feel able to cope, and “I’m at the point where I think ‘Fuck it’.” Does he mean “die,” Garraway asks. Yes he does. “No, honey,” she said firmly. “You’re coming back… I’ll find a way to make it better.” You just have to hang on to it.

Garraway’s love for Draper is plain and simple. It has a weirdly old-fashioned feel. The phrase that came to mind was “the devotion of the woman.” She just loves him. Will she be okay, someone asks him, if he gets out of the hospital and he’s not “her” Derek anymore? Garraway’s response is not immediate but thoughtful. “He’s still him,” she replies. “That person you love. He might behave differently and appear different – that will be difficult for both of us. I try to see it as a pretty pretty thing. We will have to fall in love again. Maybe it sounds emetic, but its simplicity and sincerity make it incredibly moving.

This is not a documentary designed to give us a lot of information or insight into the why, why, or statistics surrounding along (or indeed any other form of) Covid, or to delve into successes or failures. public policy or whatever sprawling. of it. Her purpose is to tell a single story and bring comfort to those who are also afflicted and who, as Garraway says, are unable to tell their stories and have them heard like her.

It seems likely that Draper will need another year in the hospital. May his stoic mind give them both the strength they need.

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