Staff at the University of North Tees Hospital have made one couple's anniversary extra special, by arranging a celebration on their Covid ward.
"Soulmates" Brian and Margaret Speckman, from Peterlee, have thanked staff for their care after celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary on ward 25, after both being admitted with Covid-19.
The couple have both been on the ward for over three and a half weeks, but have been celebrating their anniversary while on the road to recovery.
The couple first met on April Fool’s day 1961, when Brian was posted at RAF Wattisham in Suffolk. Margaret says she soon followed suit and joined the WAFS three months later.
Speaking about their romance, Brian said “The best posting ever – I met the love of my life.
“While waiting for the bus back to camp I saw this lovely young lady and plucked up the courage to ask her out on a date. It was then I realised that the bus stop was outside of Woolworths. Since then I have always called Margaret ‘The Wonder of Woolies.’”
Margaret shared their story: “In September 1961, just after getting engaged we discovered Brian was going to be stationed in Malta for three years – so the next time I saw him was over seven months later when he was on leave.
“We had to make the best of our moments together, but we still managed to get married on 22 September 1962, where I flew back to Malta to begin our lives together.”
“We’ve had a lovely life together as husband and wife, have a son, two daughters, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
“We’ve had our ups and downs, but we are so proud of what we have achieved during our 59 years together.”
Margaret then shared the scary moment she and Brian found themselves being admitted into hospital together. She said: “I had called the ambulance service because I was concerned for Brian and he was rushed in to hospital. Shortly after, another crew admitted me into hospital as well, so we both ended up COVID positive and in North Tees.
“From then on it was like a bad dream, but the staff have really been amazing and did their utmost to get myself and Brian onto the same ward.
“We’re so grateful for what everyone has done to care for us. We’ve definitely had some hiccups along the way – but are looking forward to making it back home in the very near future.”