An “AMAZING” man who has cared for his sick ex-wife for decades has been praised for his hard work and dedication.
Ken Tipton has cared for Mary, who is disabled, for 40 years despite them divorcing 20 years ago.
Over the years, 59-year-old Mary, of Dacre Gardens, Upper Beeding, has experienced a plethora of illnesses.
When she was four years old she contracted polio and then when she was 15 years old she had a brain tumour, which left her suffering from epilepsy.
She has also suffered from mental illness, beaten breast cancer and now she has been diagnosed with incurable aortic sclerosis, leaving her wheelchair-bound.
Yet despite all this, Ken has stood by her side – something Mary’s sister Kath Johnson has described as remarkable.
Now, as a way to say thank you, Kath has nominated Ken as the Best Carer in the Herald/Gazette Community Stars award.
Kath, 57, of Highfield Road, Worthing, said: “Since Mary’s deterioration in the last couple of years, Ken has been a constant, devoted carer.
“Nothing is too much for him and people just assume they are still married.
“He goes up to see her every day and looks after her. He is an amazing person.
“He is a totally caring man and would do anything for anybody.
“I just do not know what we would do without him.”
Ken, 62, of Lincett Avenue, Worthing, said he was just doing what needed to be done: “Everybody says I am good at it but I am just surviving.
“I would not survive without our three sons as there needs to be two of us at all times.”
Ken spends at least eight hours every day at Mary’s house looking after her, resulting in his retirement going “out of the window”.
His day includes washing and dressing her, feeding her, and trying to take her out on day trips.
He said things were getting easier to look after Mary at home, thanks to specialised equipment currently being installed.
Ken added: “It is her own house and is not designed for a disabled person. We are getting there slowly but it is a lot of hard work.”
He added: “You do what you have to do. That is life.”