A Bristol couple who both have Down’s Syndrome and spent the lockdown apart have appeared on This Morning in an emotional interview.
Olivia Watkins, 27, and Nino Genua, 21, appeared on the ITV show together on Tuesday (October 6) during Down’s Syndrome Awareness Month.
The couple met in 2015 when their mothers became friends, but were apart throughout the months of lockdown and unable to see each other, the Daily Mail reports.
However, they are now re-united and looking to plan a marriage together.
Olivia said: “I hadn’t seen him over lockdown since it started, but since now we’ve seen each other, I feel I can see our future.”
She said seeing each other after months apart made her feel “very happy”, while Nino insisted he was “excited” to see his girlfriend again after all that time.
Olivia went on: “Our future is to get married and live together, we haven’t planned anything but we have some ideas in place. The ideas are looking at the love heart theme.”
Nino admitted he had “butterflies” after meeting Olivia at a sports event in 2015, while his mother said he “never looked back” after asking her out during a disco at their local youth club.
His mum Sharron explained: “They’d met several years ago at a sports event, they met then and then Lynne and I started working together.
“They were building a friendship and from that they started to go to the same youth club and Nino asked Olivia out at a disco and we’ve never looked back.”
Sharron went on to say that her son’s confidence had sky-rocketed since meeting Olivia, and that he takes more care over his appearance since meeting her, often trying to impress her by smelling good.
“She gives him confidence to speak a lot more,” said Sharron. “Confidence, changing his self-image and how he smells with his favourite aftershaves, he always wants to look good and smell good for Olivia.”
Revealing his top aftershave picks, Nino said: “I like Tommy Hilfiger, and I like [Dior] Sauvage.”
Lynne agreed that Olivia’s confidence had also improved, and called watching her daughter’s relationship blossom “a joy”.
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She said: ”It [her confidence] has gone through the roof and it’s lovely seeing her show her affection to Nino, they have plans for the future and it’s a joy to see them because it’s a true love match really it’s lovely.
“It’s not always a bed of roses, but the joy and the happiness you get back is enormous.
“I wouldn’t have changed a thing about having Olivia in my life, I think my other three children are much more compassionate caring people now and so we as a family would never change a thing.”
And their story sparked an outpouring of love on social media.
One person said: “So lovely to see Olivia and Nino this morning a lovely couple, very uplifting story.”
Another said: “Olivia and Nino are making my heart happy.”