Couple With Down Syndrome Defied The Odds & Proved Their Love Before Tragedy Struck 25 Years Into Their Marriage
Nov 09, 2023 by apost team
Maryanne and Tommy Pilling both had Down syndrome. The two of them lived a long life and even defied all odds as they became the first couple with Down syndrome to get married in Britain. However, not everything was rainbows and sunshine for the pair, as there was a devastating tragedy that struck them later in life.
According to an article published by the Daily Express in February 2017, the couple first dated for more than a year before Tommy decided to ask for her hand in marriage.
“The day Maryanne met Tommy she came home with the biggest smile on her face. She couldn’t stop talking about him and asked if he could come for dinner,” Maryanne’s sister, Lindi, said.
At first, Tommy spoke to Maryanne’s mom, Linda, and he had a toy ring that he got from a vending machine.
Her mom was happy with his plans to start a new chapter of his life with the woman, but the family wanted them to have a proper ring, so the mom accompanied him to a jewelry shop.
Finally, in July 1995, the couple got married at St. Mary’s Church in Shoeburyness, Essex. It was the day that Maryanne had been waiting her entire life as she dreamt of having a big white wedding since her early childhood.
“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,” Maryanne said.
Following the ceremony, the pair would often go out on the streets while holding hands, but this didn’t mean they wouldn’t get any side eyes from other people, as there were some who judged them.
“Some people stare, they assume people with Down Syndrome and learning difficulties can’t get married,” Lindi said.
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Maryanne further expressed her love for her husband as she continued: “Tommy and I never argue. I love my husband very much. He is my best friend.”
Throughout their marriage, the couple defied all odds and lived independently in their own home with the assistance of their family members next door.
Tommy and Maryanne’s love was witnessed by thousands of people around the internet as they had a Facebook page together.
Unfortunately, in 2019, Metro reported the couple was forced to separate because of Tommy’s dementia, which made him forget who his wife was to the point that they argued late at night, and he pushed her away to tell her that he didn’t love her.
This made Maryanne “absolutely crushed and hysterical.”
The following year, when the COVID-19 pandemic started, Tommy was one of the people who died because of the disease. This big loss made Maryanne brokenhearted.
In a Facebook post shared on their page in December 2020, it was revealed that the widow tried her best to move forward after the tragedy.
“She is absolutely lost. She is trying so hard to put on a brave face but she keeps breaking down in tears… She is distraught and it isn’t getting any easier but she is staying with our mum so is distracted and keeping busy but it is still not helping 😥😢,” her sister wrote.
Maryanne and her mom later appeared in an interview with ITV News in April 2021 to give an update, and it was revealed that the widow struggled to understand what the pandemic was at the time and why her husband passed away.
Regardless, she still misses him terribly and would smile whenever she hears Tommy’s name, as she loves him very much even to this day.
What do you think of the couple who defied all the odds for their love regardless of their condition? Let us know your thoughts, and make sure to pass this on to your friends and family.