Man with Alzheimer’s Proposes to Wife Again After Falling in Love for the Second Time
Married for over 12 years, Peter and Lisa Marshall have decided to tie the knot once again after the groom, proposed after forgetting they were already married.
Despite having difficulty remembering their marriage owing to early-onset Alzheimer's disease, Peter Marshall, 56, has never lost his love for Lisa, 54, who has been by his bedside throughout and whom he has recently primarily viewed as his favourite caregiver given his fading memory.
"I’ve done my best to stay positive and focus on one day at a time,”
Lisa says. Lisa also states that Peter doesn’t know that she is his wife, however, her mantra has, "always been to have no regrets.”
Last year, while watching a wedding scene on TV, Peter asked Lisa to marry him, completely forgetting about the wedding proposal the day before and that he and Lisa were previously married.
He pointed to the wedding scene on TV, and I asked, 'Do you want to get married?' “He replied yes and had this enormous grin on his face,” Lisa Marshall told NBC New York. “He has no idea I'm his wife."
Lisa decided to reaffirm the couple's vows with the assistance of her daughter, Sarah Brehant, who owns a wedding planning company.
Sarah pushed her mother to go forward with it, volunteering to plan the entire wedding.
“I knew that my stepdad, who I am very close with, was there through some of the toughest times of my life,”
Sarah told the Washington Post. “He means so much to me, and my mom is my best friend, so I was proud to be able to take on such an important role.”
The pair repeated their vows in front of family and close friends on April 26. Adrianna DeVivo, a qualified wedding officiant who had assisted Lisa in developing a care plan for her husband, performed the ceremony.
“I was over the moon,” Lisa said to NBC New York. “I hadn’t seen Peter that happy in a long time.”
Peter and Lisa were married for the first time on August 13, 2009, at a beach ceremony in Turks & Caicos. After living across the street from each other in the same Pennsylvania neighbourhood, their relationship turned amorous in 2001, after both had divorced.
After Peter relocated to Connecticut for business and Lisa stayed behind due to familial ties, the two dated long-distance for eight years. However, once Lisa's youngest son went for college, the pair decided to marry, with Lisa travelling to Connecticut to join Peter.
However, in 2017, Peter began having memory problems, losing words and becoming increasingly forgetful. Lisa took Peter to a neurologist for an answer a year later, and the diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's disease was confirmed.
Early-onset Alzheimer's disease affects persons under the age of 65 and accounts for fewer than 10% of all Alzheimer's cases.
With severe memory difficulties, Peter was forced to resign from his position in January 2019. Lisa resigned her work the next year to become Peter's full-time caretaker.
“Before his diagnosis, I always thought that Alzheimer’s was an old person’s disease,” said Lisa. “Now I know better.”
Lisa reported that Peter's condition has rapidly deteriorated since their second wedding in April, with Peter requiring constant supervision and suffering with simple everyday chores such as making the bed. Peter also attends an adult day care centre.
Lisa realised that her spouse could require long-term care at some time.
“One day at a time,” she said. “I don’t know who I am to him now, however, I know that he feels safe and loves me. When the bus brings him back home each day, we’ll sit on the porch for an hour and hold hands.” She added, tearfully: “[At the wedding], he leaned in and he whispered in my ear, ‘Thank you for staying.’”
A few months later, Peter forgot that the second wedding ceremony took place, however, what has not been forgotten is the love Peter has for Lisa.
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