By Sarah Keane • 06 January 2021 • 14:14
Image: Twitter @olivianuamah
HUSBAND from one of UK’s first married Down’s syndrome couples dies of Covid on New Year’s Day
Tommy Pilling, 62, from Southend-on Sea in Essex tragically passed away from Covid on January 1 after being diagnosed with the virus on December 17. Tommy and his wife, 49-year-old Maryanne, made history when they became of the UK’s first couples with Down’s syndrome to get married 25 years ago. The pair were rarely apart from more than a few hours after Maryanne’s mother unofficially adopted Tommy.
Tommy, who suffered from dementia, had been treated in three different hospitals since December 1 for a chest infection prior to being diagnosed with Covid-19. Maryanne’s sister, Lindi Newman, said that his wife is understandably devastated by his death.
“She doesn’t remember a life before Tommy,” Newman said of her sister. “The day she met him, she had the biggest smile on her face and she couldn’t stop talking about him.”
Maryanne’s mother Linda said: “Tommy has left a vast hole in our lives that nobody will ever fill.
“I considered him as my son and I’ve never regretted a single moment of the three decades he was in my care.”
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Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.
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