A Down syndrome couple who have been happily married since July, 1995, face being torn apart after 24 years of living together.

According to Metro, Tommy Pilling and Maryanne Pilling could be separated in the near future as Tommy has dementia.

The 61-year-old developed the disease five years ago and it’s now got the point where he forgets who his wife is.

Reports state Maryanne. 48, may not be able to join him in residential care, threatening a bond almost a quarter-of-a-century long.

It was back in July, 1995 that Tommy and Maryanne Pilling tied the knot. The couple dated for 18 months before Tommy proposed, using a toy ring from a vending machine.

In an interview last year, 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. Tommy and I never argue. I love my husband very much. He is my best friend.”

Under threat
However, the couple’s future is under threat, as Tommy is suffering from dementia.

Maryanne’s sister Lindi Newman explained: “He’s forgotten who Maryanne is a handful of times. It always happens really late at night.

“He pushes her away and says, “I don’t know who you are” and “I don’t love you”. Maryanne takes that to heart and is absolutely crushed and hysterical.

“She calls me up and I throw on my shoes and go across the road to try and calm them down. It’s scary for Tommy too, but then he forgets anything has happened.”

No matter what happens, Tommy and Maryanne are an inspiring couple. Lindi has previously spoken on how other people have reached out to praise their story, and we can only hope the deterioration of Tommy’s condition is a slow one.

We’re sending all our prayers in the direction of Tommy and Maryanne, and we hope you have many happy days left together.

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