A Leyland husband and wife are set to celebrate 50 years of marriage thanks to countless occasions of lifesaving treatment provided by the NHS.
Barbara and Colin Woods got married on September 21, 1968, in St James Church, Leyland, with their wedding photos on the front page of the Leyland Guardian all those years ago.
And thanks to the evolution and growth of the NHS, come this Friday the duo will have been able to spend 50 golden years together thanks to the health service saving Colin’s life on more than one occasion after suffering from multiple heart attacks and a stroke.
Barbara, 71, said: “I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone really!
“My husband has suffered from 1988 when he had his first heart attack – the problems have been ongoing since then.”
Barbara, herself an NHS nurse of 15 years at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital, revealed how Colin, now 75-years-old, also had a heart attack on Christmas Eve in 2015 where he was rushed to Blackpool Victoria Hospital where he stayed for nine days.
And 18 months ago Colin, who spent 30 years as an engineer at Leyland Motors, suffered a stroke when the two of them were on holiday in Torbay, Devon.
“He was admitted to hospital and three days later he was released. He recovered so we thought why not carry on with our holiday,” Barbara added, who also worked as an assistant physiotherapist for a decade at Royal Preston Hospital before her time at Chorley.
“I can’t praise the NHS enough for what they have done,” she added.
“[Heart problems] are in his family.
“His brother died at 41 and his father at 50 so it’s special for us to be able to celebrate 50 years married.”
To celebrate their golden year together, the couple held a charity party with food, singers, and a guitarist at Leyland Golf Club on Saturday where more than 100 friends and family from the likes of Yorkshire, Shropshire and Newcastle descended upon the town.
In total around £450 was raised for charities Heartbeat and the Stoke Association.
Barbara said: “The NHS has kept Colin alive. It’s meant we’ve been travelled the world so the party was a celebration of that.
“Everyone really pulled all the stops out and gave what they could. We had a brilliant night.”
She added: “People like to criticise things with the NHS at every chance they can get but it has been wonderful all the way through.”