WHEN Daniel Turner vowed ‘to have and to hold’ his soon-to-be wife, Nicola, ‘in sickness and in health’, last March, neither half of the couple could have predicted how their first year of married life would unfold.

Almost 12 months on from one of the last weddings in Scotland before the first nationwide lockdown, Nicola has hailed her “hero” husband for helping her through illness and the Covid pandemic.

The Helensburgh pair were chosen as the winners of the Advertiser’s recent Valentine’s Day competition after we asked for your best love stories, and 33-year-old Nicola explained how her caring man Dan made everything better during a tough time.

The smitten duo met through an online dating app in 2017 and exchanged nuptials two days before restrictions were imposed, on March 21, 2020, at Crear in Kintyre.

Although Nicola admits the week leading up to the big day was “hell”, as they had no idea if it would go ahead or whether their plans for the last two years were ruined, she said the eventual small gathering was “incredible and just the most perfect day”.

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A Crohn’s disease diagnosis in September added to the stresses of the coronavirus crisis, but Nicola has always had her partner to lean on.

She said: “He has looked after me so well and kept me going as I’ve had to shield, go to numerous hospital appointments and just feel scared especially with the extra dangers just now.

“He has researched every medication I’ve been put on making sure he knows it all for me.

“He had to change how he worked and do everything for me.

“I just can’t wait for him to be able to do something for himself again.

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“I could go on and on but he really is a brilliant human and I’m so proud to call him my husband.

“Thank you isn’t enough but I hope sharing this will show him just how much I appreciate him.

“Who knew a Tinder date with someone who ‘wasn’t my type’ could lead to this?”

Dan, 37, proposed on a beach on the Isle of Gigha, and the couple’s wedding present was a springer spaniel called Jura, who has helped ease the strains of Nicola’s condition.

The couple have aspirations of settling in Kintyre, while Nicola’s short-term goal is to climb Ben Nevis in October - and she is well on the way to a brighter outlook having received her first dose of the Covid vaccine.

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She said: “Lockdown has been tough as it has been for everyone.

“It’s not how we imagined our first year of marriage but we’ve tried to make it as positive as we could.

“There’s no cure for Crohn’s disease but I can be in remission for long periods of time and can lead a normal life.

“However, the older I’ve got the worse my flare-ups have become.

“When it’s at its worst I can’t really leave my bed due to the pain and fatigue.

“Dan has always been there for me when I’ve had a slight wobble and made me look forward to so much that I’ve lost the negativity.

“As you can imagine I’m extremely glad I went on that date.”

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