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Couple gets married for second time after husband's dementia caused him to forget their first wedding

Marie Claire Dorking
·3-min read
Bill and Anne Duncan on their second wedding August 2019. (Anne Duncan/SWNS)
Bill and Anne Duncan on their second wedding in August 2019. (Anne Duncan/SWNS)

A couple have tied the knot for the second time after the husband, who suffers from dementia, forgot their first wedding.

Bill Duncan, 72, proposed to wife, Anne, 70, because he was convinced she was his new girlfriend.

The couple have been together for nearly 20 years, and married for 13, but Bill has forgotten parts of their life together due to his illness.

Anne told how her husband repeatedly asked to her to marry him, until she eventually agreed to get married for a second time in an emotional garden ceremony at their home in Aberdeen.

She told the Real Fix podcast that despite being married for years, their second wedding meant the couple got to enjoy the “honeymoon period” all over again.

Read more: Grandson creates 'water sweets' to prevent dehydration after caring for grandmother with dementia

Bill and Anne Duncan on their first wedding day in 2007. (Anne Duncan/SWNS)
Bill and Anne Duncan on their first wedding day in 2007. (Anne Duncan/SWNS)

“We had what I called ‘the wedding affect’, which lasted about six weeks,” Anne told the podcast.

“Most people thought it would last a few days at the most, and it didn’t; it lasted about six weeks.

“I would say to him ‘Bill, can you remember I'm your new wife?’ and he would just hug me and pat me on my back and shower me with kisses.

“It was just a completely unexpected wonderful miracle.”

Read more: What are the risk factors for dementia?

Anne met Bill in 2001 when he was performing as an entertainer and magician in Aberdeen.

The couple married for the first time in 2007 and have a daughter called Andrea.

Three years after their original wedding, Anne noticed Bill was acting differently and becoming more forgetful.

After visiting the doctor, they were dealt the devastating news that Bill had dementia.

Watch: TikTokers raise awareness about early onset dementia

Since then, Anne has cared for Bill full time, supporting him as he slowly forgets their precious memories together.

Bill’s condition means he now struggles to communicate and talk, so when he popped the question “out of the blue” it was a huge surprise.

“We’d been to a family member's wedding earlier in the month, and clearly it touched Bill as he turned to me not long after and said that he wanted to be with me forever,” Anne recalls.

Though she expected him to quickly forget, to Anne’s surprise, Bill remembered his proposal, and asked her every day when they were getting married.

Read more: Excessive napping could be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease

Bill and Anne Duncan got married for a second time after Bill forgot his first wedding. (Anne Duncan/SWNS)
Bill and Anne Duncan got married for a second time after Bill forgot his first wedding. (Anne Duncan/SWNS)

The happy couple renewed their vows in their garden at home in Aberdeen in front of friends and family in August 2019.

Anne walked down the aisle to the couples original wedding music.

“[Bill] had no idea that we were already married,” Anne explains.

“The fact he did what he did was nothing short of a miracle.

“It really and truly was the most beautiful and unexpected event ever.”

You can listen to the Real Fix podcast here or subscribe using a podcast platform here.

Additional reporting SWNS.

Watch: Grandson invents rehydration sweets after caring for his grandmother with dementia

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