Husband In “World’s Longest Down Syndrome Marriage” Meets Bitter Sweet Ending

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Love knows no boundaries. There’s a reason wedding views usually include the statement “in sickness and in health.” Love isn’t only confined to the healthy. Even those who battle illnesses, whether impacting their physical or mental health, are still worthy of experiencing love as they have a lot of love to give.

This pair were both diagnosed with Down Syndrome but that didn’t stop them from falling in love and getting married. In fact, they beat the odds and beat the record for the world’s longest down syndrome marriage, until they met a bitter end.

For more great relationship advice and tips on how to attain the kind of love you deserve, watch this video from expert, Amy North: Click Here To Watch The Full Video.

Love Should Not Be Forbidden

What is love? Is it just a feeling? Is it a foundation? We tend to give love all these rules from who should text who first to who is allowed to get married. But love is so much deeper than that. Love should always look at how you feel and make you ask yourself: does this other person make you love yourself more? Do you want to grow old with them?

When the answer is yes, love becomes a driving power, one that can be invincible against all odds. It can push people to do imaginable things that feel like pure magic. Love is more than just kisses and butterflies, it’s much more than that. If you want to know more on what your birth chart reveals about how you love and what you need out of a partner, check out this personalized report based on date of birth.

That was the kind of between Kris and Paul Scharoun-DeForge.

Who Says Those With Down’s Syndrome Can’t Love?

young man with Down Syndroms smiles and touches foreheads with his dad

Nathan Anderson / Unsplahs

Nathan Anderson / Unsplahs

Kris and Paul Scharoun-DeForgeboth were both diagnosed with Down’s syndrome when they were still children. However, it was obvious that they did not find their condition to be limiting. Instead, it was just a part of who they are, a piece of their being that they embraced and used to show kindness and love.

When the pair crossed paths over 30 years ago, something magical happened. They felt an instant magnetic pull towards one another. However, their relationship was to be forbidden because it was unconventional. Society as a whole had decided that the two would never work out because they would incapable of a proper relationship so better to avoid the risk altogether. Luckily, their families didn’t keep the couple apart. After all who has the power to decide what makes a “proper” relationship anyway?

A Fairytale Begins

Kris remembers feeling like Paul opened her world. She later revealed that she’d seen her future in his eyes from the very first time she met him on the dance floor. The two fell in love over the course of five years and in 1994, they made it official and got married. They would go to live a beautiful marriage for the next two decades.

Their 25 years of marriage put them on the list of longest marriages of couples with Down syndrome. This earned them attention from the world around them. They even became civic figures and a source of inspiration. They showed the world that even those with developmental disabilities are capable of fulfilling relationships and paved the way for others with disabilities to embrace romantic relationships. Their love was defying all odds.

They Were Successful In Their Own Rights

This couple’s inspiring love wasn’t their only success. Paul was a high school graduate who had multiple jobs over his lifetime. He worked hard and mastered public transit, and was even honored as 2013 Person of the Year by ARC of Onondaga.

However, even the most inspiring of stories often come to meet bitterness. Paul developed Alzheimer’s disease and early-stage dementia. This was common in the aging Down’s Syndrome community. However, Paul didn’t need to struggle alone as Kris, his wife, always stood by his side. She even petitioned the state to allow her to stay with Paul in their home with the support of the medical staff so that he can fight his disease by her side and in comfort.

Illness Caught Up To The Couple

Unfortunately, the happy couple wasn’t able to fight off the grasp of illness forever. Eventually, Paul’s health declined enough that he had to be serenaded from his wife. He was relocated to an intensive nursing care unit in a community residence. At the first, Kris would go visit her husband as much as possible. Then she got sick too…

Kris then faced her own battle with pneumonia and had to stay at the hospital. While the couple still managed to still see each other in wheelchairs, they had no idea that these would be their final months together.

One Last Embrace

Time had caught up with the couple who was still very much in love. On their 25th wedding anniversary, they decided to renew their wedding vows in the hospital chapel. Despite doing the ceremony strapped to medical tubes and a wheelchair, they were happy to simply still have each other.

Six months later came Valentine’s day. This would be their last holiday together. The couple was surprised with the gift of a live performance from Harmony Katz. While he sang the words to “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” the couple lovingly embraced each other, for one of the last times. Kris gifted her husband with a butterfly she drew to hang by his bed along with a handwritten note to tell him that he was the man of her dreams.

All Good Things Must Come To An End

At 56-years-old, Paul finally caved to the complication he experienced from dementia/Alzheimer’s and he passed away. He left behind his wife Kris as a widow. She may not have him by her side anymore, but she cherishes the memories of their love every day. Their story continues to be told, commemorating their love forever and carving an inspiring path for everyone. This couple showed that love is enough. Love is powerful.

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Higher Perspectives Author

Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives