Couple with Down's Syndrome to celebrate 25th wedding anniversary03/04/2020
Pair believed to be the world’s longest-married couple with Down’s syndrome are set to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary after husband proposed with a toy ring from a vending machine
- Tommy, 62, and Maryanne Pilling, 49, from Essex, will celebrate 25th anniversary
- Couple both have Down’s syndrome which can dramatically limit life expectancy
- They’re believed to be the longest living couple with Down’s syndrome
- Maryanne revealed: ‘I love my husband very much. He is my best friend.’
A duo believed to be the world’s longest married couple with Down’s syndrome are planning to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.
Maryanne, 48, and Tommy Pilling, 62, from Essex, are planning to celebrate their wedding anniversary in July with a ‘huge party’ at their home with friends and family.
Tommy first popped the question after 18 months of dating, with a toy ring from a vending machine, after asking Maryanne’s mum.
Despite Tommy now facing a heartbreaking battle with dementia, the couple remain more in love than ever, with Maryanne explaining: ‘Tommy and I never argue. I love my husband very much. He is my best friend.’
Maryanne, 48, and Tommy Pilling, 62, from Essex, are believed to be the UK’s longest living married couple with Down’s syndrome and set to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in July
Maryanne revealed she and her husband Tommy, who suffers from dementia, are more in love than ever and ‘never argue’
With worries that they would be torn apart, Maryanne, now helps care for her husband Tommy, alongside her sister, Lindi Newman, 32 and mother Linda, 69.
Sister Lindi – who is a full time carer said: ‘To the best of our knowledge, they’re now the longest living married couple with Down’s syndrome.
‘The fact that they’re still living independently and are doing great together, it’s amazing.
‘These last few years have been substantially harder and Maryanne does get upset – Maryanne had dreamt of a big white wedding since she was a little girl, and their relationship is one that has always been full of love.
The couple are set to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary with a ‘huge party’ at their home in July this year
Maryanne’s sister Lindi revealed she had always dreamed of her perfect wedding and was over-the-moon when she met now-husband Tommy (pictured together on their wedding day)
The couple married 25 years ago, and are said to be looking forward to celebrating their silver anniversary (pictured on their wedding day)
‘But Tommy doesn’t sleep, and whilst his memory isn’t that bad, he does get mood swings and it’s clear, his health is declining rapidly.
‘But their family is all round them – Tommy lost his family quite young and we took him in 30 years ago now.
‘He’s part of the family and their relationship – it’s absolutely wonderful..’
The couple are believed to be looking forward to celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary with friends and family
Lindi revealed her sister Maryanne ‘can’t remember a life without her husband Tommy’ (pictured together)
The couple even have their own Facebook page, gathering over 60k likes, detailing their relationship of over 30 years.
Lindi added, ‘Maryanne doesn’t remember a life before Tommy.
‘The day she met him, she had the biggest smile on her face and she couldn’t stop talking about him.’
The couple continue to live independently, with Maryanne helping her husband, who suffers from dementia
Lindi explained: ‘With their 25th wedding anniversary coming up, we’re planning a big party in July.’
‘Whilst Maryanne and Tommy might not have the concept of what an achievement it is, to them it’s just their relationship, to us it’s just absolutely brilliant.’
Maryanne said, ‘My wedding was the best day of my life. I was shocked when Tommy proposed but I didn’t have to think twice about saying yes.’
WHAT IS DOWN’S SYNDROME?
Down’s syndrome is a genetic condition that typically causes some degree of learning disability and certain physical characteristics.
- Floppiness at birth
- Eyes that slant down and out
- A small mouth
- A flat back of head
Screening tests can uncover Down’s syndrome during pregnancy but are not completely accurate.
It is caused by an extra chromosome in a baby’s cell due to a genetic change in the sperm or egg.
The risk increases according to the age of the mother.
A 20-year-old woman has around a one in 1,500 chance of having a baby with Down’s syndrome.
Women in their 40s have a one in 100 chance.
There is no evidence women can reduce their risk.
Down’s syndrome does not have a cure.
Treatment focuses on supporting the patient’s development.
People with Down’s syndrome are more at risk of health complications such as heart disorders, hearing problems, thyroid issues and recurrent infections.
Source: NHS Choices
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