• Sat. Oct 23rd, 2021

Kate Garraway looks emotional as Dame Barbara Windsor's husband says he 'respects and admires' her being Derek's carer

Sep 30, 2021

EMOTIONAL Kate Garraway was today praised by Dame Barbara Windsor's husband who said he "respects and admires" her being Derek's carer.

Scott Mitchell, 58, was married to the EastEnders legend for 20 years before losing her to Alzheimer's in 2020.

He had spent the final years of her life looking after her at home before she eventually had to move into a care home.

Meanwhile Kate has just begun her experience as a carer after Derek Draper came home from a year in intensive care battling Covid.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain ahead of his London Marathon run fundraising for "Kate, on a personal note to you, my respect and admiration to you for watching your journey with Derek.

"I know how it is to care for someone when you're in that situation."

Kate took a deep breath and sighed as she nodded while Derek compared their experiences.

"It is something I've become very passionate about," he added.

"I've become an ambassador for Alzheimer's Research UK, that's who I'm running the London Marathon for.

"When you've gone through something like that and you've seen close hand what Alzheimer's has done to a loved one and you watch how painfully and slowly it takes them away and how powerless you are… it makes you want to fight.

"I felt pretty powerless to help Barbara apart from being there and making sure she felt as safe and loved as possible.

"We need to make sure we do more to help future families going through this."

Scott and Barbara wed in April 2000 – eight years after they first met when she was 55 and he was 30.

TV star Babs – known best for playing Peggy Mitchell in the BBC soap – died in December last year aged 83.

Announcing the news, Scott said: "It is with deep sadness that I can confirm that my darling wife Barbara passed away at 8.35pm on Thursday 10th December at a London Care Home.

"Her passing was from Alzheimer's/dementia and Barbara eventually died peacefully and I spent the last seven days by her side.

"Myself, her family and friends will remember Barbara with love, a smile and affection for the many years of her love, fun, friendship and brightness she brought to all our lives and the entertainment she gave to so many thousands of others during her career.

"Barbara's final weeks were typical of how she lived her life. Full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end.

"It was not the ending that Barbara or anyone else living with this very cruel disease deserve. I will always be immensely proud of Barbara's courage, dignity and generosity dealing with her own illness and still trying to help others by raising awareness for as long as she could.

"I will always be immensely proud of Barbara's courage, dignity and generosity dealing with her own illness and still trying to help others by raising awareness for as long as she could.

"Dementia/Alzheimer's remains the UK's number one killer.

"Although in challenging times, I urge the Prime Minister, his government and other parties to be true to their previous promises and invest more into dementia/Alzheimer's research and care.

"Thank you to all the doctors, nurses and carers who are angels at the care home for your kindness and care to Barbara and I throughout her stay with you. You are my heroes.

"And my gratitude to our family, friends and everyone in the media and the general public for all the good wishes and warm support that has been shown to Barbara over the last few years during her illness. Barbara deeply appreciated that."

"May you rest in peace now my precious Bar. I've lost my wife, my best friend and soul mate and my heart or life will never feel the same without you."

Support Scott taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon for Alzheimer's Research UK on October 3.

He's already raised more than £165,000. To donate, click here.

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