TEENAGE sweethearts were kept together as Valerie Semple entered the last stage of her life.

Mrs Semple, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in April 2015, met Henry when she was just 15-years-old.

Her husband-to-be was a 16-year-old junior soldier and after marrying in 1974, the couple travelled the world together because of his role in the military.

The couple settled in Kendal just three years ago, as they wanted to be closer to their two children.

After undergoing surgery that left her paralysed on the left hand side of her body and radiotherapy treatment, Mrs Semple received the prognosis on October 12, 2015 that she probably would not make it until Christmas.

Whilst Mrs Semple was ill, the Hospice at Home nurses visited her a few nights a week to offer her husband some much-needed respite.

"They would sit with her all night long - she would rather chat than fall asleep," said Mr Semple. "She really liked them coming in.

"At the same time I'd have a good chat with them before I went to bed - it was the company and knowing someone was there and somebody you could talk to because they'd seen this quite a few times. They were absolutely fantastic."

Mr Semple, 63, said his wife was able to tick things off her 'bucket list' during their last few months together. One involved the couple, who would have celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary this year, renewing their vows.

"We remarried in Kendal in September and then I took her away for a mini-honeymoon to Edinburgh for the week," he said. "We had a lovely five days in Edinburgh because we used to live up there and that's where she wanted to go."

Guests to the couple's second wedding made donations in lieu of presents to both St John's Hospice and to Cancer Care.

Mrs Semple passed away on January 12, aged 60 - living longer than the doctors said she would and being able to spend her last days at home thanks to the nurses.

"The doctor asked Val what she wanted and the one major factor was that she did not want to go into a hospice," Mr Semple said. "The care to me was absolutely fantastic - it was always enthusiasm. I didn't need to worry when they were here. They couldn't do enough for her."