THIS NEEDS TO BE A SPECIAL CHRISTMAS
WOMAN'S OWN|November 09, 2021
Woman’s Own columnist Richard Arnold speaks to GMB star Kate Garraway about her festive – and future – plans

It’s been a year since we caught up for Woman’s Own. How are you?

Well, it’s been another tough year for everyone hasn’t it. Last year, all we wanted was to have Derek home. This year, we have got him home – and fingers crossed we can keep him home. Of course, he’s not yet putting on his Santa costume, going out with Darcey for a father-and-daughter Christmas shop or the same with Billy. None of those things are on the horizon at the moment so it’s adjusting to a new normal but also grateful that he’s here at all, which we didn’t have at all last year and maybe feared would never happen.

The kids have been magnificent. How are they with Dad back at home?

They are completely delighted. But he can’t be the same dad to them at the moment as the one who went into hospital and that’s tough. They both handle it in different ways. The way they are with him is incredible, though. Billy will be showing Derek something like his Lego or a toy and when Derek can’t respond, Billy will push him a bit and say, ‘Dad, you’re not looking at me’, just enough to help him focus, but not too much to stress him.

They are remarkable, really, aren’t they?

They instinctively get it. But of course, that doesn’t make it any easier for them to cope. I can sometimes feel their disappointment when they say something that in the past he would have lit up at, be shocked at or just responded to in a Derek-like way, but he remains passive because he can’t react and you can feel their heartbreak.

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