Couple in their 90s to finally wed after heart attack proposal

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·3-min read
The elderly couple are planning to get married next month. (Stock photo/Getty Images)
The elderly couple are planning to get married next month. (Stock photo/Getty Images)

A couple in their 90s, who have lived together for 37 years are finally to marry - after he proposed while she was having a heart attack.

Maurice Benton, 90, and Joanne Orris, 92, better known as 'Team Mo and Jo', decided to tie the knot during the medical emergency at their home.

Orris agreed to take the plunge while she was in the middle of a cardiac arrest last March, after years of turning down Benton's regular proposals.

She later joked that he was so shocked by her acceptance it almost caused him to have a heart attack of his own.

Maurice Benton, 90, and Joanne Orris, 92, have lived together for 37 years are finally getting married. (SWNS)
Maurice Benton, 90, and Joanne Orris, 92, have lived together for 37 years are finally getting married. (SWNS)

Read more: ‘Britain’s oldest hairdresser’ is still chopping away aged 91

Having now recovered from her health scare, the couple, from Curry Rivel, Somerset, are busy making plans for their big day next month.

Recalling the proposal Orris, said: "I said to him, 'I feel so ill'.

"He said, 'I can't do anything for you, so I'll ring 999'.

"He came forward, knelt down and said: 'I'm sorry I can't take this pain away from you. Will you marry me?'

"I've always said no in the past, but my heart attack made me realise perhaps we haven't got so many years left, so we'll get married after all."

Read more: Relate and Rankin pair up in new campaign celebrating the joy of later life sex and intimacy

Orris says before the proposal she'd always believed the couple were happy as they were, more or less living as a married couple anyway.

"It's been a big joke that I'd rather be a mistress than a wife," she explains.

"When I said yes, I think Maurice was so shocked, he nearly had a heart attack as well.

"We've been laughing ever since. And it means there won't be any problems with the taxman."

Watch: ‘Britain’s oldest hairdresser’ is still chopping away aged 91

The couple plan to wed in their home on Saturday March 19, but it won't be the first time Orris has walked down the aisle, having divorced her first husband, while her second died in his 50s.

"Everyone's really thrilled for us, although most of our friends and my cousin said they thought we were already married," Orris, who has two children, six grandchildren, six great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren, adds.

Read more: Silver Splitters: Why are so many 60-somethings starting again?

Meanwhile Benton, who has two daughters and five grandchildren, is very much looking forward to married life with his fiance.

"I'll still be her slave, doing all the washing and ironing," he says.

"Jo's not so mobile, but fortunately, she's got a sharp brain like nobody else.

"It was about time she made an honest man of me."

The couple have built up quite the history over the years, becoming known as the Perfect Strangers when they sent anonymous letters and parcels to British troops serving in the Iraq War.

They were also made honorary Gurkhas for their fundraising efforts for members of our armed forces.

Additional reporting SWNS.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting