Love story surprises Worthing care home as couple aged 92 and 80 prepare for their wedding

A love story has surprised and delighted staff and residents at a Worthing care home as the happy couple prepare for their wedding.

John Waterfield and Dorothy Diesch met at Fernbank Residential Home, in Gratwick Road, and fell in love.

Dorothy, who celebrated her 92nd birthday on July 29, said: "John always says it was a big surprise – especially to us. We could never have believed it. We are happy and that is what matters."

John, 80, added: "It is a love story, a fairytale. It has taken everybody by surprise. It is a great occasion and so unique."

The happy couple, John Waterfield and Dorothy Diesch

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The couple will be married at Offington Park Methodist Church on August 19, with John's son-in-law Sandy as best man and Ben from Fernbank giving Dorothy away.

There will then be a party at Brewhouse and Kitchen in Worthing and Dorothy said everyone at Fernbank wants to go.

Dorothy grew up in Epsom and was married to her late husband Peter for 40 years. He sadly developed Parkinson's disease and died three years ago at the age of 92.

She said: "I had no idea of getting married again to be honest, I think at my age you don't, do you?"

John moved into the home seven years ago to be near his late wife Shirley, who had Huntington disease and was being cared for at Berkeley Lodge Nursing Home nearby. He visited every day and they were married for 50 years.

After Shirley died, John and Dorothy got chatting in the lounge at Fernbank and as they were reminiscing, their love blossomed.

John explained: "We came here and sat down and got chatting about our lives and how we had come to this stage."

Dorothy added: "I thought, what a nice man. The more we get to know each other, it sounds silly, but we fell in love. It is ridiculous really. I fell in love and he said he felt the same about me."

They have dates at the home and sometimes enjoy a walk in the park together.

The couple are hoping to be able to move into a double room at Fernbank as soon as one become available, as they are happy at the home and do not want to move.

Dorothy has one son, Trevor, and John has a daughter, Ingrid.