24 Hours n A&E elderly couple
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24 Hours in A&E: Elderly couple Preston and Maureen have viewers in tears

She has rare condition affecting the nervous system

24 Hours in A&E fans were emotional last night when an elderly man pledged to make the most of the time he has left with his poorly wife.

During Tuesday (August 11) evening’s repeat of the documentary series, viewers were reintroduced to married couple Preston and Maureen.

24 Hours in A&E elderly couple
24 Hours in A&E viewers were in tears over elderly couple Preston and Maureen (Credit: Channel 4)

What happened with the elderly couple on 24 Hours in A&E?

Maureen has multiple system atrophy – a rare condition with the nervous system causing gradual damage to the brain’s nerve cells.

She was in hospital with her husband because she struggled to breathe through her tracheostomy.

At one point in the Channel 4 programme, Preston broke down as he spoke about how much he had relied on his wife during their years together, as she was the more organised of the two of them.

24 Hours in A&E elderly couple
Preston broke down as he talked about Maureen planning her own funeral (Credit: Channel 4)

Couldn’t ask for a ‘better person’

He said she was even planning her own funeral, so that he didn’t have to.

Fighting through tears, Preston revealed his wife’s reassuring words to him, to prepare him for when she’s gone.

He said: “Maureen was the organiser, she’s the brains of the family. She’s done everything for me and the family. You just could not ask for a better person.

Read more: 24 Hours in A&E: Viewers in bits over teenage girl battling anorexia

“Maureen is such an organised person, she’s even organised her funeral. She wanted that done. I kept saying, ‘No, we don’t need it’. But we done it. That’s how organised Maureen is.

“She’s still my wife and she always will be. There won’t be anybody else. Because she’s been my brick.

That’s me going to bed in tears.

“She did say to me, ‘The kids will look after me…”

His voice cracked then, as he added: “They definitely will.”

At the end of the episode, an on-screen message revealed Maureen was kept in overnight for observation.

“The last thing I wanted was for Maureen to pass away in hospital, because that’s one of the wishes she’s made to me,” Preston said. It showed him in his garden at home, Maureen beside him.

24 Hours in A&E elderly couple
They’re making the most of the time they have left together (Credit: Channel 4)

‘Thankful for every day’

“We’re just thankful for every day we get now. There has been a couple of occasions where we’ve thought, ‘Is Maureen going to make this day?’ And she’s very brave. She goes through an awful lot some days. She does make it.

“I want to help Maureen as much as I can to keep her home for as long as possible, and we will do.”

24 Hours in A&E elderly couple
Maureen has multiple system atrophy (Credit: Channel 4)

Those watching were in pieces over Preston and Maureen’s love for each other.

One said simply, with two heart emojis: “Preston and Maureen #24HrsAE.”

Another tweeted: “Maureen and Preston on #24hrsae. Sending them love and strength to fight on.”

A third wrote: “Maureen and Preston. What a lovely couple. So sad… #24hrsae.”

Read more: 24 Hours in A&E viewers broken over death of 86-year-old Filippo 

Someone else said: “That’s me going to bed in tears at Maureen’s story on #24hrsae. That, that is true [bleeping] love.”

A fifth admitted: “Maureen and Preston have ended me tonight #24hrsAE.”

“Oh Maureen and Preston,” said another with a tearful face emoji. “So so sad #24hrsae.”

“Maureen and Preston,” another said, adding with a heart emoji: “What a lovely couple.”

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