Maryanne and Tommy PillingEssex, England

Maryanne and Tommy are thought to be the longest married couple both with Down syndrome in the world. The first in the UK too. They have been married for 25 years, together for 30.

Maryanne is one of 4 siblings and Tommy is an only child, he lost both his parents at a young age and spent 20 years in care before Maryanne’s family unofficially adopted him and claimed him as theirs.
They spend every day together enjoying a range of different activities – arts and crafts, watching films and TV, looking at books, drawing, going bowling, to the cinema, coffees and eating out, going for walks, to the zoo, golf and farms. Tommy was diagnosed with Alzheimers 6 years ago and he is really struggling now but as a family we work together to give him the best possible care we can. They have lived independently for 18 years with help from Maryanne’s sister Lindi who has been their carer for 16 years.

When Maryanne is asked for a quote she says ” Tommy is my best friend, he is a handsome guy and I love him”
When we ask Tommy he says “I love her, she’s my wife”

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