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youtube.com/NBC New York
Source: youtube.com/NBC New York

Connecticut Couple Marry a 2nd Time after Husband with Alzheimer's Fell in Love Again

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Jun 09, 2021
02:20 P.M.
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A Connecticut couple found their ray of hope amidst the storm of Alzheimer's as they got to repeat their marriage vows. For him, it was the first time, but for her, it was unforgettable.

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The real-life love story of Peter and Lisa Marshal began 12 years ago when the couple tied the knot for the first time. But Lisa's husband was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's back in 2018 and forgot about her.

In a happy twist of events, the couple from Connecticut have managed to find their way back to each other, and they got to repeat their wedding vows in an emotional ceremony for the second time in their life together.

Peter and Lisa Marshal at their vow renewal ceremony in Connecticut. | Source: YouTube/NBC New York

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WATCHING IT FALL APART

Peter's brain could not retain memories of his past, including significant ones like his marriage. The couple went through turmoil as Peter, 56, would often forget who Lisa was.

For Lisa, it was devastating as she knew how much her husband loved her. The pain of watching the memories they created over the last 12 years fade away was excruciating. It reached a point where Peter considered her his carer and stopped showing affection.

[A]mong the 6 million US citizens who have Alzheimer's, only a few couples get to experience the joy of marriage.

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ALL OVER AGAIN

The spark returned when the couple was watching a wedding on their TV set. Peter got all excited about the wedding, and he seemingly fell in love with his wife all over again!

He asked Lisa to marry him. The confused wife accepted her husband's proposal, to which he excitedly nodded and said, "Yes!" In an interview, Lisa described:

"He doesn't know that I'm his wife. I'm just his favorite person."

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"I DO" TWICE

Just like Peter and Lisa, another elderly couple faced similar events. The only difference was, Bill Duncan was 72 and his carer and wife, Anne, 70, when the Alzheimer's-affected husband proposed marriage to his already-wife!

The couple first married in 2007 and lived a happy and busy life, but in 2011, Bill was diagnosed with dementia, snatching away their happy days. But with a twist of fate, the husband fell in love with his wife again. Anne recalls the second wedding in an interview:

“As soon as I reached him and he looked deep into my eyes and held me, and I knew my Bill was back.”

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DEVASTATING EFFECTS

Unfortunately, these two tales are extremely rare! Because among the 6 million US citizens who have Alzheimer's, only a few couples get to experience the joy of marriage. It doesn't just affect the patient but severely impacts their relationships, especially with their spouse.

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What Alzheimer's does is that it rips away the identity of the patient. It is a type of dementia that alters the affected person's memory, thinking, and behavior. One can hardly imagine the distress of the patient and their loved ones.

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Another interesting story is that of Lauren and Robert Barber. The latter had been visiting his wife daily for the past year as Lauren resides in a memory care center. Due to the pandemic, Robert had to be a little more creative to meet the love of his life, and the internet was in awe of the elderly couple's video.

These couples are inspiring as they keep on trying against all the odds. Their hope is more significant than fear. Hence, what the brain couldn't retain, the heart knew all along!

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