A MAN who wed his true love in his mid-70s is stranded in Dubai after his wife died on a flight back from a holiday of a lifetime to Australia.
Devastated Ron Simms, now 79, is refusing to leave the body of 76-year-old Pat until he and family members can scrape together the thousands of pounds needed to fly her home to Milton Keynes.
The fun-loving couple hit the national headlines when they married three ago after clickety-clicking during a game of bingo at Emerson Valley’s Hungerford House sheltered housing scheme.
Seven weeks ago they set off together for a trip Down Under to visit Pat’s daughter and her family.
Hungerford House spokesman Nora Gibbard said: “There was such excitement. It really was a huge holiday for them, particularly for Ron because he’d never even been on an aeroplane before.
“We were so pleased for them. Everybody here loves Pat and Ron. They were the perfect couple and the life and soul of every event here.
“We knew they were having a wonderful time in Australia because we’d had postcards and calls. They were loving every minute of it and we were thrilled for them. We were really looking forward to hearing all about their adventures when they returned.”
Pat, who was demonstrating her skill at pole dancing just days before the trip, suddenly started feeling breathless during the journey home on Monday.
Despite frantic efforts by Emirates Airlines cabin crew to give her oxygen and resuscitation, she died shortly afterwards with Ron at her side.
The plane landed in Dubai, where it was scheduled for a fuel stop, and her body was taken to the police morgue.
Ron was even questioned by Dubai police officers about his wife’s sudden death before it was agreed it was from natural causes.
Because the couple had no insurance, the family now face a massive bill to collect the death certificate and fly Pat home for a funeral.
It is understood they are struggling to find the money.
“We feel so sorry for poor Ron. We will give him all the support we possibly can when he returns,” added Nora.