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11th Jul 2023

A 78-year-old man proposed to his high school crush at the airport

Steve Hopkins

The had been waiting their whole lives for the timing to be right

A 78-year-old man has stunned social media with a touching airport proposal, 60 years after he and his now-fiancee first met.

Dr. Thomas McMeekin got several members of his team at Academic Alliance in Dermatology in Tampa, where he still practices, to help him woo his bride-to-be at Tampa International Airport after she’d just touched down from California.

Video of the proposal has clocked up millions of collective views on TikTok and elicited hundreds of emotional responses from commenters.

Footage shows McMeekin, aka Dr Love, waiting patiently in a grey suit for his now-fiancee, 79-year-old Nancy Gambell, then embracing her in a hug as she comes through the arrival gates.

In the video, captured by medical assistant Angelia Fedrick, McMeekin leads Gambell over to a seat at the gate and hands her a bouquet of red roses and a necklace with both of their birthstones on it before kneeling down on a pillow and pulling out his proposal speech.

According to a report by Insider, he then says: “It’s been sixty years since we first met.

“You have always been the one that I’ve had a crush on since your cheerleader days,” he explained, as onlookers gathered around to enjoy the moment.


Rekindled love after 60 years! There’s hope for us yet! extremely happy for you and Nancy!! 🥰❤️🤗 #DrMcMeekin #AAD #dermatology #truelovestory #retirement

♬ Beautiful Memories – Lux-Inspira

After tearfully asking for her hand in marriage, Gambell responds, “I will.”

The couple then hug to loud applause.

Fedrick and Samari Rivera, who are both medical assistants to McMeekin, told Insider that they have forged a close relationship with the doctor and offered to help him plan his proposal after “he kept talking about it every single day”.

“We had picked up a pillow so he could kneel down and propose, and we got some stuff to make a sign saying, ‘She said yes’ – because we knew she would,” Rivera said.

“He knew what he was going to say and he followed through with what he was going to do. Find me a man like that.”

According to a local Fox affiliate (Fox 13 Tampa Bay), McMeekin and Gambell met in high school in California and briefly dated in college before going their separate ways.

They reconnected a decade ago at their 50th high school reunion, but at that time, they were both married to other people.

McMeekin has been married three times. Gambell has been married four.

Insider reported that with their 60th high school reunion coming up in September, and both now single, the two reconnected in recent weeks. And they quickly decided they wanted to waste no more time and tie the knot.

“They never really dated to be honest,” Rivera explained.

“They just reconnected, and he’s like, ‘I wanna be with her.’ And that was it.”

McMeekin now plans to retire and move to California to be with Gambell.

McMeekin and Gambell’s proposal really touched people.

One person wrote: “I’ve seen this proposal now from 4 different angles, cried from all four, all the same, lol what a sweet couple.”

Another added: “This needs to be Hallmark movie.”

Read the Insider story here.

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