‘In sickness and in health – he’s a hero’

WHEN Alan Tucker got married, his wedding vows struck a significant chord as he was not only becoming a husband but also a carer for his wife Jennifer

The Sentinel

 

More than 40 years later, he still provides care 24 hours a day – but never complains.

  1. GREAT TEAM: Alan Tucker with wife Jennifer.

Jennifer, aged 62, believes she would have to be cared for in a home if Alan didn’t look after her.

And she is so grateful, she has now nominated Alan, aged 60, as Adult Carer of the Year in The Sentinel’s Our Heroes awards.

Jennifer was born three months premature and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a youngster.

She said: “Alan doesn’t like the limelight but I think people should know how good he and other carers are.

“Alan cares for me 24/7 and does absolutely everything for me.

“I know other people with disabilities whose husbands have upped and left them because of their problems but he has always stayed by my side.

“I feel blessed to have him with me because he never grumbles about what he has to do.”

Jennifer’s balance has become impaired because of her cerebral palsy and she has needed a wheelchair for the past 15 years.

Alan used to work 12 to 14-hour days as a lorry driver, go home to Milton to care for Jennifer and then do the housework once she had gone to bed.

However, he gave up work 13 years ago to care for her full-time.

After choosing not to have any outside help, Alan administers all of Jennifer’s personal care, sorts out her medication, looks after all her personal affairs and does all the housework.

He stays with her to continue carrying out her care even when she has to spend time in hospital.

Jennifer has recently been diagnosed with a kidney disease and has to undergo dialysis for four hours, three times a week.

Alan has made it his job to ensure she is ready for her treatment.

He also often stops up with her during the night to help manage her sleep apnea, a disorder which means she can stop breathing while she is asleep.

Alan, who has a daughter with Jennifer and two grandchildren, says caring for his wife is second nature.

He said: “I never gave caring for Jenny a second thought.

“It does get hard sometimes but I see it as a privilege to care for her.

“It gives us a much stronger bond.”

And Alan, of Norbury Avenue, is even modest about his nomination for the Our Heroes award.

He added: “For all the things Jenny has been through, I think she is the hero, not me.”

Friend Janet Bowyer sees the couple together and has sung Alan’s praises.

She says the couple are always willing to help others in need despite facing tough times themselves.

The 73-year-old, of Stockton Brook, said: “Alan is an absolute role model for carers.

“He absolutely adores his wife.

“She has been incredibly dependant on him for years but they have still reached out to offer support to others as well.”

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