For as long as Jake Coates and Emmy Collett can remember, they have been together. They met when they were just 11-years-old and have been practically inseparable ever since. Although they were from different towns, Jake came from Monmouth, Wales and Emmy from Luckington, Wiltshire, they attended the same elementary school and became fast friends. Not long after that, they became sweethearts and never wanted to leave each other’s side.
Although their friendship was an innocent playground crush when they were in school, it would grow to become influential in their lives in ways they could never comprehend. Only when they looked back could they see that their relationship was touched as if by fate.
Emmy remembers how her love for Jake began. And as she describes, it was like a fairytale.
“My ‘schoolgirl crush’ on Jake started almost 20 years ago when we were just 11 years old. We quickly became ‘childhood sweethearts,’ and at 13 he told me that I was ‘his lobster,’” she said, referencing the popular TV show Friends.
It took them some time, but when they were in high school, they could finally talk about their love.
“When we were 16, we finally sought the courage, and we dated for three years.”
Despite their fated love, life tore them apart. They went to different colleges and parted ways, although bitterly.
Although they were not as close as they had been in high school, during their college years they remained in touch. And as if touched by fate, they reconnected in 2015 and started dating again.
It took “10 long years” to rekindle their love, but it was worth it. Now they were in their twenties and had careers of their own. They even made it work while living a world apart. Jake worked in Sydney, Australia as a doctor while Emmy was a teacher in London.
They began to think about the future, and Jake knew he wanted to “seal the deal.” He planned a trip to the Philippines where he wanted to propose. But before they could take the flight, things changed.
While visiting Jake in Australia, she asked him for a neck massage. The simple request had consequences.
Jake said, “I just put my hands round her neck from behind, and I knew straight away (something was wrong). My blood ran cold… I told her to make an appointment with her GP as soon as she got home.”
Days before the Philippines trip, Emmy was diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of thyroid cancer.
Jake dropped his life in Australia and returned to England to be with her during treatment. With Jake’s support, Emmy took on cancer with force and determination. She refused to let it end their love story prematurely.
Then doctors told her she would never have children. And her life was at risk. Jake proposed right then and there.
She said yes! The couple then “ran away” to Dubai for a five-day trip to celebrate. When they returned, Emmy cycled 1,242 miles for cancer. She was not a quitter.
Despite an unclear future, they planned their wedding and got married.
But her cancer could not be beaten. Jake sat with her as it took her away from him. “Truth be told, Emmy never fully woke up,” he said.