The husband of one of the first married couples to die of Covid’s Down syndrome in the UK

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Tommy Pilling’s wife ‘absolutely devastated’ after the death of his husband on New Year’s Day

It has been revealed that the husband of one of the first British couples to marry with Down syndrome has died of Covid-19.

On New Year’s Day, Tommy Pilling, 62, of Southend-on-Sea, Essex, who had been treated with a chest infection at three separate hospitals since early December, died.

25 years ago, he and his wife, Maryanne, 49, were married. Members of the family said she was “completely devastated.”

Lindi Newman, 33, her sister, described him as “one of a kind.”

She said that for more than a few hours after their mother, Linda Martin, 70, unofficially adopted him and made him part of her family, Pilling and her sister were never apart.

Newman said of her niece, “She can’t remember a life before Tommy,” “The day she met him, she had the biggest smile on her face and couldn’t stop talking about him.”
Pilling, who had dementia, was in seclusion for 10 months, but was then hospitalized with a chest infection on Dec. 1, leading to the first split of the pair. After testing positive for coronavirus on Dec. 17, he died on Jan. 1.

Linda’s mother, Maryanne, said, “Tommy has left a huge hole in our lives that no one will ever fill,” she said.

“I considered him my son and have not regretted a single moment in the three decades he has been in my care.”
She thanked the NHS staff who cared for him. “I can’t thank the staff enough, their care and compassion was outstanding – especially during this terrible time,” she said. “They were all in a hurry and still took the time to update me daily on his condition.”

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