No wedding presents but contributions towards the cost of a defibrillator is the unusual request of a couple tying the knot next month (March 16).
Love struck 69-year-old Michael Green has been brought back from the brink of death by his 61-year-old fiancé Jane Rose twice this year thanks to her CPR intervention when he has collapsed.
They are hoping a defibrillator installed in their home will not only give them joy of long wedded bliss but also serve others at the Extra Care Home, Ty Dyffryn, Ammanford.
Sending out the wedding invitations this week the couple have been inundated by requests of what gifts they would like. “It was a no-brainer,” said Jane. “Help us raise the funds for a defibrillator.” Within five days they had £500 towards the anticipated £1,000 cost.
Jane said: “We have both had great careers and eventful lives and have all we need. Michael and I want for nothing other than good health and a long shared life experience.”
Michael, a retired police officer, has been the life and soul of Ty Dyffryn’s packed entertainment programme acting from bingo caller and quizmaster to DJ and cinematographer since he moved into Ty Dyffryn as one of its first tenants.
Jane relocated to west Wales last year popping out of a train at Ferryside attracted by stunning coastal views when escaping, in retirement, the hurly-burly of a London career in management consultancy.
She consequently had a home at Ferryside and soon after had a chance meeting with the larger than life Michael when visiting a friend at Ty Dyffryn who was also a tenant there.
“We had so much in common we got on like a house on fire and I was soon visiting Jane at her home,” said Michael. “On one of the visits, in January this year, I collapsed and Jane called 999 and helped me. I owe this wonderful woman my very life,” he said.
“Following this visit I asked Jane to move in with me and we now share a self-contained flat in the magnificent Ty Dyffryn Extra Care scheme created by Family Housing Association and Carmarthenshire County Council.
“I decided within weeks to surprise her at one of the bingo sessions I organise for the home and the local community with a secret and well thought out proposal of a ring buried in a series of boxes – Russian doll fashion. I am relieved and honoured to say she said ‘Yes!’
“Just a fortnight ago I had another funny turn when about to start dancing to one of our favourite songs – Dire Straits ‘Brothers in Arms’ – at another of the events I organised at the home celebrating the Chinese New Year.
“Jane, managed to get me to our room, and with a retired fire fighter friend delivered CPR to my lifeless body. After a few days in hospital I have been given another new lease of life.
“The medics who attended me said the CPR intervention had been critical. They also said how a defibrillator could overcome so much anguish over delivering CPR. It made us think as a couple that Ty Dyffryn would benefit from a defibrillator for the 50-plus tenants supported in the independent living quarters and to help ensure their and our own wellbeing into later life.
“The way things are going, with the generous responses we could have two defibrillators, one on each floor.”
Jane is arranging a course so that all the staff and those tenants prepared to, would receive first aid training including how to deliver CPR and use the defibrillator. The training is provided by St John’s Ambulance, Wales.
In the meantime encouraged by Michael, who wants a traditional wedding, Jane has acquired her traditional wedding gown and all the scheme’s tenants are joining in the excitement of the planning of the big day on March 16 when they will hold their reception following a blessing at the scheme preceded by a registry office wedding.
Executive board member for social care and health, Cllr Jane Tremlett, said: “Jane and Michael’s story is almost Mills and Boon and helps cement the remarkable success of Ty Dyffryn as a joint enterprise between the Family Housing Association and the council.”
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