'Gareth proposed to me on holiday in Kavos, then his heart stopped'

Louise Walkington, who lives in Sittingbourne, Kent, was holidaying with her partner Gareth Williams in Kavos, Corfu, earlier this month when he made a shock marriage proposal a few days into the trip.
-Credit: (Image: Kennedy News and Media)


A woman thought her new fiance was about to die in her arms when his heart stopped on the dancefloor after he popped the question during a romantic holiday. Louise Walkington was holidaying with her partner Gareth Williams in Kavos, Corfu, earlier this month when he made a shock marriage proposal a few days into the trip.

Gareth - a 60-year-old former housing company foreman - decided to pop the question at the same resort where the pair had met the year before while on holiday. Celebrating both their one-year anniversary and Gareth's 60th birthday, the couple booked the same hotel in Corfu where they had first met.

Hours after Gareth popped the question, however, the pair went out with friends for some celebratory drinks when Louise's new fiance suddenly collapsed on the dancefloor. The 56-year-old, who lives in Sittingbourne, Kent, said she felt terrified her betrothed would die in front of her eyes just hours after they had agreed to marry.

Gareth - a 60-year-old former housing company foreman - decided to pop the question to Louise in the same resort where the pair had met the year before while on holiday.
Gareth - a 60-year-old former housing company foreman - decided to pop the question to Louise in the same resort where the pair had met the year before while on holiday. -Credit:Kennedy News and Media

Gareth was rushed to a medical centre in Corfu where tests revealed his heart had briefly stopped on the dancefloor, which doctors believe may have been caused by a blockage. When he collapsed, he suffered two broken ribs, a fracture in the lower vertebrae as well as fluid in both lungs from the fall.

Gareth was hospitalised for 12 days before being airlifted back to the UK
Gareth was hospitalised for 12 days before being airlifted back to the UK -Credit:Kennedy News and Media

Gareth was hospitalised for 12 days before being airlifted back to the UK where further investigation showed he had a blockage in his heart. The mum-of-one, who works as an operations manager, said she easily could've lost her soon-to-be husband before tying the knot.

Louise said: "Last year as a joke, he bought a €7 ring and dropped down on one knee and 'proposed' to me as a joke. This year, he reenacted that proposal whilst all our friends were there and did it for real on the apartment balcony where he pulled out a beautiful ring. It was a little bit surreal. I had no idea it was coming.

Gareth proposed to Louise in front of their friends
Gareth proposed to Louise in front of their friends -Credit:Kennedy News and Media

"We got ready to go out in the evening and went down to a local bar. We had only been there for an hour or so and Gareth was dancing with his friends when he just blacked out and fell and hit his head against the bar.

"He made a bit of a gurgling sound then just went unconscious. I was thinking the worst. I was thinking 'is he going to die in front of my eyes?' I was in shock. Within a few seconds, he came round and said his back was hurting."

Gareth added: "I bought the ring and didn't tell anyone about it. It felt like the right time to do it. I'm not getting any younger. The proposal went really well. We went out for drinks later on in the night and I remember feeling a fuzzy feeling in my head then I stopped dancing and that's all I remember.

"I remember being sat on a chair and there were lots of people around me. My back was really painful."

Gareth was taken to a medical centre where he was treated for two broken ribs, a fracture in the lower vertebrae and fluid in both lungs. After being airlifted from Greece to the UK, he was admitted to Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent where doctors confirmed he had suffered a blockage in his heart.

After being airlifted from Greece to the UK, Gareth was admitted to Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent where doctors confirmed he had suffered a blockage in his heart.
After being airlifted from Greece to the UK, Gareth was admitted to Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent where doctors confirmed he had suffered a blockage in his heart. -Credit:Kennedy News and Media

Louise said: "The staff were absolutely amazing. The clinic was phenomenal. He had to be airlifted home because he couldn't fly in a normal flight due to the altitude. He went from the Corfu clinic to the airport then he was transported to Medway Hospital for three days.

"Our insurance covered everything so we tell everyone now to get insured. We'd have never been able to afford that bill. Looking back now, I was definitely in shock. It was awful. I don't know how to explain it. We're going to get married in 2026 in the same place and get married on the beach in Corfu."

Gareth said: "I could've easily died that day. I'm never going to forget the evening! Even if it wasn't what I'd planned. But I'm glad I popped the question before this happened because there was no way of me getting on one knee after!"