A Kenyan woman who married a disabled Australian man has told the BBC how people called her a gold digger after photos of their wedding were shared online.
Susan Njogu Eling said people judged her love for Philip Eling without knowing that she had always worked with disabled people.
She moved to Australia and enrolled for a diploma in working with the disabled after which she applied for a job at Mr Eling’s workplace.
Mr Eling asked her out by email after the interview and they exchanged contacts and later went out on their first date.
“Ours is a story of love at first sight. Nothing about him bothered me, especially because I had related with many disabled people while studying,” she says.
The couple became engaged exactly six months later. The bride’s parents approved of their marriage plans.
“They gave me their blessings at once. They were completely alright with our decision, and especially because they knew how passionate I was about helping the disabled. I was ecstatic,” she said.
The couple married in a red-themed garden wedding in Adelaide and photos were widely shared online, eliciting mixed reactions.
“People said I only did it because I wanted to get money from him, but I sort of expected that reaction from them. I was very relaxed and prepared for it. I got comfort from knowing that our union was ordained by God,” she said.
As they celebrate their third wedding anniversary, Mrs Eling describes their marriage so far as fantastic.
“Phillip takes care of me like any other husband would, and I take care of him too. People always assume that I am the one who takes care of him,” she says.
Mr Eling was born with muscular dystrophy – a disease that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass.
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