Love has blossomed for a couple who live in nearby care homes.
Sian Walley, 45, and ex-plumber Steven Ferrier, 55, have got engaged after meeting at the Pendine Park care organisation in Wrexham.
The smitten love birds spend most days in each other’s company although they are not rushing into setting a date to tie the knot.
Sian, who suffers from cerebral palsy, epilepsy and has other medical issues, is a resident of Penybryn which specialises in brain injuries and neurological care.
Steve, who suffered a heart attack and several strokes that has left him, like Sian, as a permanent wheelchair user, lives at the Highfield House on the same site in Summerhill Road.
They became engaged on Valentine’s Day when Steve popped the question after staff prepared a romantic three-course meal for them in his room.
Steve said: “I was going to try and take Sian out on Valentine’s Day but I asked the kitchen staff at Highfield House if they could help and they agreed to do a meal for us in my room. They did an amazing job.”
“The table was covered in rose petals, it was amazing. We had prawn cocktail, steak and a chocolate pudding that was done in heart shapes.
“I’d already decided to ask her to marry me. I didn’t have the ring at that time as I wanted to take her out and let her chose it herself. I’m glad I did it that way.”
Steve has been married before and has two adult children while Sian was divorced from her first husband shortly before moving Penybryn.
He said: “I honestly never thought I’d meet someone in here, in a care home.
Sian said: “Life really doesn’t have to stop when you move into a care home, especially if you are relatively young. It isn’t the end of the line or your life is all but over. You do have a life to live and you can find love.
“I love it here, and I know Steve does too. We all help each other and the staff are amazing. There is so much going on and we have a brilliant enrichment and activities co-ordinator in Elaine Lee.”
“I really do love Steve with all my heart. I love his personality, the way he always listens to me and the way he’s always so loving. He does rush at things a bit like a bull in a china shop but he’s getting better. I’m sorting him out!
“The main thing we have is trust. That’s so important in any relationship. Trust is like a mirror, break it and the cracks will always show.”
Steve added: “She’s an amazing personality and, well, we just love each other to bits. That’s all there is to it.”
Sian, who hails from Wrexham, recalled: “When I first came into Penybryn I was devastated. It wasn’t where I wanted to be. It wasn’t the actual place but the fact it was a care home and the thought of living in a care environment was devastating.
“But after meeting Steve he gave me hope and something to live for. We spend our time talking, playing games and watching films.”
Steve has endured two TIAs (transient ischaemic attack) a prelude to a full stroke in the past two years and both love birds agree they need the support of Pendine Park staff and care practitioners.
According to Pendine Park’s regulation and compliance manager, Gill Hughes, Steven and Sian have been good for each other.
She said: “We are delighted their relationship is so strong. When Sian first arrived she was struggling emotionally as well as physically. Meeting and being in a relationship with Steven has really helped them both.
“They are inseparable now and spend most days together and they both know we will support them in any way we can.”
Penybryn manager Tracey Cuthill said: “It has made a massive difference to them both. They are content, happy and have embraced the environment they now live in.
“They support each other and are really good for each other. They are the perfect example that living in a care home doesn’t mean your life is over. In many respects theirs has only just begun. And we all wish them well.”