A 16-year-old boy touchingly proposed to his girlfriend on the day the pair re-united after being forced apart for six months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Steven Bagley and Lillie Dodd, from Colwyn Bay, North Wales, who both have autism, have been smitten since they met at school last year and have been an item ever since.
While shielding they could not see each other for six months but had up to five video calls a day to keep in touch.
Their families formed a ‘bubble’ to enable the pair to meet up for a date – and Steven got down on one knee with a ring to ask if Lillie would marry him ‘in the future’.
Lillie, who also suffers from type 1 diabetes and a rare genetic condition which limits her physical movement, instantly said yes to Steven, who also has ADHD.
Lillie’s mother, Emma Dodd, 51, a school transport escort, said: ‘They absolutely adore each other.
‘They’re very much in love, in their own little world, and they love spending time together. During lockdown they were missing each other terribly.
‘They definitely bounce off each other, and both having autism, they also know how to support each other.’
Ms Dodd said Lillie is thought to be the only person in the UK with her exact condition, a chromosome abnormality which is so rare it does not have a name.
Humans ordinarily have 46 chromosomes, with each cell normally containing 23 pairs.
However, Lillie, who also has learning difficulties which are linked to the condition, has three copies of chromosome number 19, rather than two.
The physical impact of the abnormality means she cannot produce tears and has difficulty walking because she has low muscle tone.
The teenager also has an overactive bladder because its muscles do not work properly, meaning that she needs to wear a catheter to collect her urine.
She and Steven met in February 2019 at the special needs school they both attend and they’ve been together ever since.
The lovebirds met for lunch at a local restaurant, where Steven proposed, on August 12.
Emma said: ‘Their relationship is very innocent.
‘They both need a lot of support, and they always will – but it’s lovely to hear them making plans for the future.
‘It’s so nice to see Lillie happy with Steven, and to have that little bit of normality in both their lives.
‘Even though their relationship is unique to them, and is different to other relationships, it’s lovely that they are able to be together.
‘And of course, it would be a beautiful love story if they did end up getting married!’