At school I was taught not to use the word 'nice' when writing, but this is actually a nice story. It's all about the coincidence or synchronicity of a couple who had just one good heart between them.
Suzanne and Alistair Cotton, from Coventry in England, met at Kingsbury swimming pool but little did they realise what a lot they had in common. And most of this didn't come to light until after they had fallen in love.
They were quite shocked when they first met to learn that they had both suffered from the same rare heart defect. They were diagnosed, when children, as having stenosis. This is a narrowing of the heart valve which requires difficult corrective surgery.
The interesting thing is that their defects were on opposite sides of their heart, so between them they had one good heart. They saw this as being a sign of their destiny to meet.
After Suzanne and Alistair moved in together Suzanne had to go for a routine heart check up and it was then that they learned of an another amazing coincidence.
As children, seven year old Suzanne and fourteen year old Alistair were being prepared for surgery at the Birmingham Children's Hospital. This was in 1974 - and they were in the next beds to each other ready to have the same operation, on the same day and by the same surgeon. Who would have thought they would meet some 20 years later, fall in love and finally marry.
Suzanne said of the coincidence, "We were totally blown away by the coincidence. We always felt like we had a close bond and, because our defects were on opposite sides of the heart, it means our two halves would fit together perfectly. We were obviously destined to be together. When I found out Alistair had the same condition as I did, I knew he'd be able to understand what I'd been through - but I didn't realise just how well he'd understand."
The couple married in 1992 and Suzanne conceived a baby the following year. Regarding this she said, "Many heart patients can't conceive or carry children, and other children are born with dreadful heart problems themselves, so for our amazing story to have such a happy ending is just wonderful. We can't even begin to show how grateful we are to the hospital that has given us so much joy and so much to live for, against the odds."
A nice coincidence story: The couple met 20 years after both having the same operations on the same day and by the same surgeon and their love is sealed with a healthy daughter, now six years old. Yes, that's definitely 'nice'.