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'I said in sickness and health 64 years ago'

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Devoted wife Margaret Toach has been caring for her husband since he had a heart attack 23 years ago.

The 81-year-old has to wash and clothe and prepare meals for 85-year-old Jack.

Margaret, of Wigston, is the latest nominee in the Mercury's Carer of the Year Awards 2012 in the Home Carer of the Year category.

She said: "I took and continue to take my marriage vows very seriously. When we tied the knot 64 years ago I said in sickness and health, and I meant it.

"Jack has got a wheelchair and a scooter and can get about a bit but he more or less relies on me for everything.

"He has had another couple of smaller heart attacks since the big one, so he's not at his best, but we get by together."

Former hosiery worker Margaret, who met Jack at the South Wigston Fair when she was 14 and he was 17, said her husband does not want nurses or others to assist him.

She said: "He is a proud man and I am there for him. He doesn't want anyone else in and that is the way it is.

"Doctors and nurses have asked me lots of times if I need or want any assistance but, although it is kind of them, it is not necessary.

"Anyway, most of the doctors have said that because I have been looking after Jack for so long, I probably know how to care for him and meet his needs better than they could."

Margaret told how she and Jack became inseparable after he fed her a cheeky line at the fair.

She said: "I had noticed him and liked what I saw, then he came over and spoke to me.

"He said: 'Do you want to go for a ride with me, blondie?' I did and in that moment realised he was the one for me.

"We were married three years later and it's as if we were meant to be together."

Margaret was singled out for special praise by friend Bernadette Heggs, who nominated her for the award.

Bernadette, 65, of Oadby, said: "Margaret does everything for Jack. She is his world.

"She has a very infectious laugh – more like a girlie giggle. Margaret does so much and it is never for herself and she is always laughing.

"She is an inspiration to all of us and it would be great if she could win an award and get a bit of recognition and perhaps even time to relax."

'I said in sickness and  health 64 years ago'


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