This severely disabled couple show us that true love still exists

PHOTO: Magazine Features
PHOTO: Magazine Features

Because 25 years on, this visually impaired woman and her paralysed husband are still going strong.

"He is my hands, my feet. He is my everything," says Gonul Elhan, the devoted wife who lives with her husband, Ilyas, in Sarikoy, Turkey.

Gonul (43) was born with a severe visual impairment and can hardly see at all.

Her husband, 61-year-old Ilyas, has been paralysed since the age of 11.

Neither of them are able to work and rely on disability pensions to stay alive, but Gonul won’t let her ill health stand in her way of making a success of her life.

The strong-willed mother-of-four has written two volumes of poetry.

"With my first book, I recited and my husband wrote the poems down. While with the second book, a close friend of mine wrote as I recited on the phone.

"I had 1,000 copies published of both of the books. The first one sold well, but the second one not so much,” she says.

Gonul and Ilyas met when she would visit his family as a young woman.

“Gonul used to come to us and we ended up falling in love with each other and decided to get married,” he remembers.

But their parents weren’t in favour of the marriage and the pair decided to elope.

The couple have four children, two daughters and two sons. But sadly, their kids were taken away from them and put in an orphanage because the parents were unfit to care for them.

“The state took care of them,” Gonul explains.

“Our eldest daughter became a civil servant, one of our sons graduated from university, the other graduated from high school and our smallest daughter still studies at high school.

“When they have holidays they come to us.”