A love story in Luton blossomed in the most unlikely of places, proving romance is always just around the corner!
Antonio Deeb, 48, and Donna Townsend, 37, met while attending Headway in Alma Street, Luton, a weekly activity group for people with brain injuries.
Now, the couple – who have been labelled ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by their peers – are set to get married on Saturday.
Their carers and friends are working round-the-clock in order to create their perfect day.
“I’m over the moon,” said Donna. “I couldn’t be happier. I’m finally getting married and he’s the perfect gentleman.”
Antonio added: “She’s the love of my life.”
Donna suffered permanent head injuries after a vicious assault in 2005. Told she would be paralysed, Donna managed to defy expectations, but still walks with a limp.
Lebanese-born Antonio was hit by a bus near Beirut when he was just 11 years old, and flung 20 feet in the air landing in a workman’s hole. He moved to Britain several years later.
Recounting their first meeting three years ago, Donna said: “I pinched his bum and said ‘hello gorgeous!’
“I thought he was Italian and then he told me he was Lebanese and I’d never heard of it.”
The couple’s home is adorned with pictures and photo collages by Antonio, with dozens of roses and a sign, “Antonio loves Donna forever”.
Antonio said: “I had a dream and saw my mum, she was smiling and giggling.
“I believe that was my mum giving us her blessing.”
Getting married ensures the couple will remain together if their care plan changes.
As well as Headway, the couple wish to thank The Leicester Arms for providing a function room for their upcoming wedding, Timothy Flood for taking pictures, Wendy and Amy for hair and make-up, and Joan Ryan and her daughter Debbie for helping with arrangements.