Kate Garraway has revealed that doctors caring for her husband Derek Draper have claimed the contraceptive pill could prevent men from contracting coronavirus.
Speaking on Wednesday’s Good Morning Britain the presenter, 53, noted that medical staff flippantly stated the Pill could help to protect men from the virus by increasing the levels of oestrogen in their body.
Kate has been openly documenting her husband’s slow recovery after he was rushed to hospital with coronavirus in late March, admitting on Tuesday it’s been ‘an incredibly tough time’ for her family.
Surprising: Kate Garraway, 53, has revealed that doctors caring for her husband Derek Draper have claimed the contraceptive pill could prevent men from contracting coronavirus
It came following the publication of a study by King’s College London which revealed women who take the contraceptive pill are less likely to develop ‘serious coronavirus symptoms.’
She revealed that two doctors offering their own theories about how they could treat Derek’s illness as he remained comatose in hospital.
Kate told Ben Shephard: ‘Very early on when Derek first got sick, he was still conscious and wasn’t in the induced coma.
Tragic: The presenter claimed that when Derek (above in 2019) was still in the early stages of his battle with the virus, doctors claimed the Pill could help prevent men contracting COVID-19
‘I was talking to anyone I could about what could be done to help. This was pre the trials of some of the thing we’ve seen used like steroids.
‘After I asked ”what would you do right now if you could before the trials”, one doctor said to me at St Thomas’s and one elsewhere, they both said, almost flippantly, they’d put the nation – including men – on the contraceptive pill.
‘What we’re seeing statistically, is that actually women seem to be less affected.
‘They both said there must be some connection between oestrogen that’s good in tackling this virus and testosterone that’s not so good.’
Unusual: The revelation came following the publication of a study by King’s College London revealing women on the Pill were less likely to develop ‘serious coronavirus symptoms’
Kate also put the findings to GMB’s guest GP Dr Amir Khan, who insisted that doctors wouldn’t recommend placing male patients on the Pill until they’ve seen ‘more evidence.’
Since her husband was hospitalised with COVID-19 in March, Kate has been incredible open about her husband’s slow recovery.
On Tuesday she revealed she has been contacted by parents of teenagers across the country, worried about their children’s mental health amid the pandemic.
Kate said: ‘I think for lots of young people, this has been an incredibly tough time.’
Family: It comes after Kate admitted she has been contacted by parents, worried about their children’s mental health amid the pandemic (pictured with her children Billy, 11, and Darcey, 14
‘They are responsible. For some youngsters, you do feel like you want them to relax a little bit more,’ she added.
‘I’ve had lots of people contact me saying, ‘My teenager is now terrified to go out.’ It’s a balance, isn’t it, that’s very hard to strike.’
On Monday’s GMB, Kate revealed how her two children have gone on their first family visit during the pandemic.
Kate explained her children have gone to stay with Derek’s parents this week, but admitted she has taken precautions as her in-laws have been shielding since March.
Tough: The presenter admitted it has been ‘an incredibly tough time’ for her own children
‘My children have gone for the first time to stay away from home – they’ve gone to stay with Derek’s mum and dad,’ she said. ‘Derek’s mum and dad have been shielding since the beginning of March because they both feel vulnerable.’
‘So this was a very big deal for them to have the children to stay, and also very important because they haven’t seen their grandchildren in a while. Very important for Billie and Darcey because they haven’t seen their grandparents as well.’
She added that her children isolated over several days before they went to visit and she washed and sealed Darcey and Billy’s clothes before they travelled on Sunday.
Kate explained that she didn’t want to travel with the children to their grandparents as she wanted to limit the people her in-laws have had contact with, so her friend Jeremy Kyle stepped in.
Advice: ‘I’ve had lots of people contact me saying, ‘My teenager is now terrified to go out.’ It’s a balance, isn’t it, that’s very hard to strike,’ Kate told her co-host Ben Shephard
‘It was thanks to Jeremy Kyle that they travelled up – big thanks to him. Because he said, ‘Listen, my driver has been isolating and has been keeping the car very clean so I’ll take the children up.’ Very, very kind of him, thank you very much Jeremy.’
Last week Kate revealed she paid an ‘extra emotional’ first visit to Derek, as he continues to slowly recover from COVID-19.
The Good Morning Britain presenter, 53, also told Ben Shephard that it was ‘lovely’ to see her partner as (28 July) was his 53rd birthday, but she continues to be ‘frustrated’ by his slow progress.
Kate told Ben: ‘I did go and see Derek, he’s had a tough couple of weeks, and it’s just frustrating, it would have actually been his birthday today so I was extra emotional so I was thinking about the day he was born.
She added: ‘What the doctor said to me was, ‘Sometimes, Kate, a day when nothing has gone backwards is a positive’.’
As Ben agreed that Derek had ‘a stable day,’ Kate added: ‘It’s just I’m desperate for a step forward. It’s always lovely to see him and so it’s wonderful to have the chance to see him.’
A timeline of Derek’s coronavirus battle
Kate revealed she and Prince Charles had got ‘relatively close’ at the Prince’s Trust Awards on March 11 – Charles was diagnosed with coronavirus in mid-March.
She said: ‘Around the 29/30 March, I came home came in and said [to Derek] ‘god you look ill.’
‘He said he had a headache, numbness in his right hand, and was struggling to breathe,
‘I rang Dr Hilary (Jones) and tried to get through, he talked to Derek. He said put me back on, I think you need to call an ambulance’
Derek, 52, was taken into hospital on March 30 and remained in an unresponsive condition.
Kate and her children isolated at home after she displayed ‘mild symptoms’.
Kate said: ‘Derek remains in intensive care and is still very ill. I’m afraid it remains an excruciatingly worrying time.
‘I’m afraid he is still in a deeply critical condition, but he is still here, which means there is hope.’
Kate said: ‘The journey for me and my family seems to be far from over as every day my heart sinks as I learn new and devastating ways this virus has more battles for Derek to fight.
‘But he is still HERE & so there is still hope.’
That month, Kate and her family took part in the final clap for carers
She said: ‘I’ll never give up on that because Derek’s the love of my life but at the same time I have absolute uncertainty’
On June 5, Kate revealed Derek is now free from coronavirus but continues to fight against the damage inflicted on his body
On July 5, Kate revealed Derek has woken from his coma but he remains in a serious yet critical condition.
On July 8, she announced she would be returning to GMB, after being urged by doctors to ‘get on with life’ during Derek’s recovery.
She added that Derek had ‘opened his eyes’ after waking from his coma, but has been told his recovery could take years.
On July 13, Kate returned to GMB for the first time since Derek was hospitalised.
On July 28, Kate revealed she’d paid an ‘extra emotional’ first visit to Derek, and admitted she’s ‘frustrated’ by his slow progress.
The presenter has been unable to visit her husband Derek due to strict measures in place in hospitals around the country during the coronavirus crisis, and has instead been ‘seeing him’ over FaceTime.
Last Monday, Kate also spoke about the ‘utterly terrifying’ moment her tyre blew while she was driving with her family over the weekend.
The Good Morning Britain presenter was left shaken following the incident, which occurred as she hurried back to see ailing husband Derek.
Speaking to co-host Ben, Kate said: ‘We were rushing back because we were conscious of getting back to London to check on Derek, and my mum and dad were coming for their first visit.
‘You know people say God and the universe doesn’t send you what you can’t deal with. I would like to put a message out, I am at my limit, I am at my absolute limit now. If the universe could just give me a calm Monday!’
Terrifying: Last Monday, Kate also spoke about the ‘utterly terrifying’ moment her tyre blew while she was driving with her family
Referring to the accident, which happened while children Darcey, 14, and Billy, 11, were in the car, she added: ‘It was the first time that I had been out with the kids in the car…
‘Leaving London, going to meet some friends in Kent, in a socially distanced way at lovely Port Lympne Safari Park.
‘On the way back we suddenly exploded. It’s that moment where you think ”I can’t control the car.’
‘All weird steering, bits of rubber flying everywhere. I don’t know if it was smoke but looked like smoke – it could be burning rubber.
Touching: Derek has credited Kate for saving him from depression which started during his career as a political advisor and led to a nervous breakdown (pictured in 2006)
‘I managed to pull over but it just happened to be on the section of the motorway where there wasn’t a hard shoulder, there was a feeder road going off so I was nervous about people going on the inside.’
Kate later admitted she had chosen to stay close to London for the sake of Derek, who remains in a critical condition at a local hospital.
She said: ‘We’ve been talking about travel plans all morning and the problems people are facing going to Spain and having to quarantine, but I made baby steps.
‘This was the first time I was taking the kids out of London. Obviously wanting to stay local to Derek and taking it step by step.’
REVEALED: HOW THE CRUEL LEGACY OF COVID MAY LAST A LIFETIME
Covid-19 could leave survivors with debilitating illnesses that last for years, doctors have warned since the outbreak spiralled out of control.
One leading medic called it ‘this generation’s polio’ – a disease that killed thousands and left a generation with life-long mobility issues.
Patients who spend weeks fighting the disease can suffer from long-term complications caused by permanent damage to their lungs and liver, but serious problems can also blight people who only have a minor illness.
SCARRING AND LONG-TERM LUNG DAMAGE
Several recent studies have highlighted proof Covid-19 causes fibrosis – scarring of the lung tissue – that makes it harder for the organs to work.
A research paper published in a Chinese journal in March said ‘pulmonary fibrosis may be one of the major [long-term] complications in Covid-19 patients’.
A build-up of scar tissue in the lungs can reduce their capacity to absorb air, leaving a patient with breathing difficulties, shortness of breath or a cough.
Insufficient oxygen also has knock-on effects on the other vital organs, which rely on the chemical to work. Without it, they cannot work as efficiently and may start to fail or work less efficiently.
Failing kidneys may result in a patient needing long-term medication or dialysis, while a severely damaged liver could require a transplant to treat.
IMMUNE SYSTEM OVER-REACTION CAN DAMAGE HEART, LIVER & KIDNEYS
Evidence is also emerging that the virus may affect the the liver, kidneys, heart and blood vessels because of the way it can force the immune system to attack healthy parts of the body.
As well as the potential of immediate death in the case of kidney failure, a heart attack or a stroke, any damage to these vital organs can cause lifelong disability and dramatically increase the risk of dying young.
A paper in the journal JAMA Cardiology in March reported a fifth of patients in a group of 416 who were hospitalised in Wuhan, China, had suffered heart damage.
Another study in Wuhan found that 16 out of 36 intensive care patients developed irregular heartbeats, called arrhythmia, which can weaken the heart’s ability to pump blood.
Coronavirus can also cause blood clots, scientists say, which raise the risk of stroke or heart attack.
The heart problems are thought to occur as a result of the virus triggering a ‘cytokine storm’, where the immune system overreacts to the infection.
GROWING EVIDENCE OF BRAIN DAMAGE AND NEUROLOGICAL EFFECTS
Long-term brain damage may also be a consequence of Covid-19 infection, according to emerging research of patients who caught it.
Doctors around the world say they are seeing growing numbers of people with neurological symptoms such as headaches, loss of smell and taste, tingling sensations, losing the ability to speak and even seizures and strokes, the BBC reported.
Dr Elissa Fory, from the Henry Ford Foundation in Detroit, said: ‘We don’t know yet if the encephalopathy [brain damage] is more severe with Covid-19 than with other viruses, but I can tell you we’ve been seeing quite a lot of it.’
Symptoms affecting the brain are harder to measure and track – it took months for officials in the UK to admit a lost sense of smell was a symptom of coronavirus – but they can be permanent.
HOSPITAL STAYS AND TREATMENT CAN BE DEBILITATING
As well as damage caused by the virus itself, patients who are seriously ill with Covid-19 – particularly those in intensive care – will suffer long-term health problems just from being in hospital.
Physiotherapists warn patients muscles start to waste away quickly when they are in hospital beds, which can leave them with mobility problems for a long time – especially if they are already elderly, which many coronavirus patients are.
People’s lungs can also be irreparably damaged by ventilators, the intensive care machines which help people to breathe when they cannot do it alone.
The machines work by blowing air into the lungs through a tube inserted directly down the throat and into the airways. The pressure of the air being forced into the lungs can tear and split the delicate tissue inside the lungs and leave them permanently damaged. This is a trade-off: the machines are usually a last resort for people who can’t breathe on their own and would die without the ventilator.
People who get seriously ill are also at a risk of developing depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of their ordeal after the initial infection has gone.
EVEN MILD ILLNESS CAN DRAG ON FOR MONTHS
There is growing evidence that even mild Covid-19 can have long-lasting consequences and the UK Government last weekend launched a study into the after-effects of the illness.
Experts on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) warned that Covid-19 patients could be left with ‘extreme tiredness and shortness of breath for several months’ even if they were not hospitalised.
Concerns about the lasting effects of the illness were discussed in a SAGE meeting which took place on May 7.
Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS, revealed some patients need psychological treatment for ‘post-intensive care syndrome’.
And another scientific advisor to the Government told The Telegraph that ‘a very high proportion’ of Covid-19 survivors ‘cannot get back to a normal life’.