Young love forever between Bill, 103 and Heather, 95
A simple and tender romantic moment between sweethearts on Valentine's Day is special no matter their age.
But when one of the couple is a sprightly 103 and the other is a relatively youthful 95, well, it's a guaranteed tear-jerker.
A photograph taken by a paramedic of Heather Silcock, 95, receiving a rose from her 103-year-old beau, Bill Walker, has become the biggest-ever social media post for NSW Ambulance, reaching more than 1.5 million people in less than 24 hours.
Sitting holding hands yesterday in the Bexley aged care home where they met and fell in love three years ago, the couple were taking online fame in their stride.
When asked why he thought the photo had struck a chord, Mr Walker said: "There's so much on TV that's sad and disturbing and Valentine's Day is a bit of a relief from that, and because we're old and Heather's very presentable, we're good photographic material for the media."
NSW paramedic Emmie Deathridge, who took the picture of "my little lovebirds", said the rose moment wasn't staged. She said Mr Walker was being wheeled out to the ambulance when Mrs Silcock came out of the aged care home's hair salon and asked to come with them to St George Hospital. As she went back to get her purse, Ms Deathridge said she and Mr Walker saw the artificial roses on the reception desk. He was handed one and hid it under the blanket.
Arriving at the hospital, Ms Deathridge said "they walked in hand-in-hand - she was with her little walker and he was on the stretcher.
"We were already gushing and then we went into the triage room and while we were waiting for a bed for him to be admitted, I saw him rummage under the blanket and I thought, 'oh, the rose' so I quickly got my phone out."
Mr Walker was later discharged from hospital and the rose is now in a vase in Mrs Silcock's room.
Both previously married - Mr Walker for 61 years and Mrs Silcock for 59 years - the couple are now happy to have found each other late in life. "I get a kiss and a cuddle so that's pretty good," Mrs Silcock said.