United Kingdom

Couple with cerebral palsy beat the lockdown to get married on 7 March

A couple with cerebral palsy beat the lockdown to get married on 7 March after 40 years of friendship - after their previously planned wedding was cancelled due to illness.

John Lloyd, 66 and Val Smith, 62, residents of Edward Street care home in Widnes, Cheshire, have revealed how they timed their wedding perfectly to beat the coronavirus lockdown.

And it was second time lucky for the couple - after their first wedding had to be rearranged when Val was admitted to hospital with aspiration pneumonia, which caused her to have a cardiac arrest.

Speaking of how she felt on the day when it finally came around, Val said, 'happy and alive,' while John added that his 'life is now complete.' 

John Lloyd, 66 and Val Smith (pictured together), 62, residents of Edward Street care home in Widnes, remained best of friends until 2007, when their relationship advanced romantically

Speaking of how they felt on their wedding day, Val said, 'happy and alive,' while John added that his 'life is now complete.' Pictured, on their big day

John and Val's first wedding date was cancelled when Val was admitted to hospital with aspiration pneumonia, which caused her to have a cardiac arrest. Pictured, together on their big day

John and Val met in the 1970s and both lived at Daresbury Hall, a large residential home for people with cerebral palsy.

They hit it off immediately, but when the home closed in the 1990s, John was rehoused in a purpose-built bungalow on the same site, and Val moved to Edward Street. 

Although living separately, they maintained contact, attending the same day service and going on outings together.

They remained best of friends until 2007, when their relationship advanced romantically, and they realised their mutual love for one another. 

John and Val (pictured together) met in the 1970s and both lived at Daresbury Hall, a large residential home for people with cerebral palsy

When the home closed in the 1990s, John was rehoused in a purpose-built bungalow on the same site, and Val moved to Edward Street (pictured, together)

When a room became available at Edward Street in July 2011, John (pictured left) decided he wanted to move there to be with Val (right)

In 2008, John arranged a big party at Edward Street, and surrounded by loved ones, he popped the question. Pictured, on their big day

A year later, in 2008, John arranged a big party at Edward Street, and there, surrounded by loved ones, he popped the question, asking Val to be his wife - and she said 'yes'.

In 2011, a room became available at Edward Street and John decided he wanted to move there to be with Val - and they have lived together happily ever since. 

Last year, they made plans to hold a religious blessing of their relationship. With the staff's support, they planned their special day.

Arrangements were made for October 2019, but unfortunately at the last minute, disaster struck. Val became ill and was in hospital for several weeks.

Luckily, Val and John were able to rearrange the date and were married on 7 March this year, narrowly facing another disaster by avoiding the lockdown.

The couple first planned to tie the knot in October 2019, but at the last minute, Val fell ill and the wedding had to be postponed. Pictured, on their wedding day

Val and John rearranged the date and were married on 7 March this year, narrowly facing another disaster by avoiding the lockdown. Pictured, on their big day

Ashleigh Passey, manager of Edward Street, commented: 'It was a fantastic day, all of their family and friends were there to witness it! Val was walked down the aisle by her brother in law and her sister made a very emotional speech, there wasn't a dry eye in the house!

'It goes to show that, no matter what challenges you face in life, love conquers all.

'It was a pleasure to support Val and John to achieve their goal of being a married couple and we wish them all the luck and happiness for their future together.

'I am very proud of the staff team at Edward Street for working really hard to plan the blessing and ensuring the day went without a hitch. Thank you!' 

Edward Street is a residential care home for disabled adults with complex care needs in Widnes, Cheshire.

During the time they lived separately, the couple (pictured) still maintained contact, attending the same day service and going on outings together

Ashleigh Passey, manager of Edward Street, commented: 'It was a fantastic day, all of their family and friends were there to witness it.' Pictured, Val and John

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