Ray and Jessie Lorrison (Photo: North News Pictures)
Ray and Jessie Lorrison (Photo: North News Pictures)


Proof that 70-year-long love really does conquer all

A council who decreed an elderly couple couldn't live together have now backed down after a grandson's campaign went global

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By Emily Baker on

There’s something about older people in love that fills us with joy. Meet Ray and Jessie Lorrison from South Shields, who have been married for an impressive 70 years and have spent nearly every day together. 

Ray is 95 and suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, so when his wife Jessie, 88, had a fall and was taken into hospital for treatment, he was moved into a care home. In a cruel twist usually reserved for Nicholas Sparks novels, Jessie and her family were told that after being discharged, she wouldn’t meet the criteria to live with Ray in the care home.

After hearing the collective heartbreak of the whole country, the couple’s grandson Lee Bates stood up for his grandmother, creating an online campaign and petitioning South Tyneside Council to change their mind.

“My grandfather sits and waits for her everyday – confused, anxious and lonely without the woman who has been by his side for 70 yrs” read Bates’ petition. “My grandmother misses her husband terribly and still wants to do what she can to care for him – even if its just sitting by his side holding his hand.”

The petition garnered over 20,000 signatures in just three days and the council have now said that Jessie can move in to live with Ray. Love wins.


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Ray and Jessie Lorrison (Photo: North News Pictures)
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