Gown on one knee

A children’s nurse had two very special reasons to smile at her graduation this week.

Michelle Dunlavey, who studied BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies (Child) at Teesside University, got the ultimate surprise as Josh Ridley, her boyfriend of almost five years, proposed to her immediately after the ceremony.

Josh got down on one knee on the Middlesbrough campus where Michelle’s graduation ceremony had just taken place, but not before asking his unsuspecting mother-in-law-to-be to capture the moment on video.

“I had absolutely no idea that he was going to propose, which is why my first reaction was to ask if he was joking!” Michelle said.

“The full day has been a bit surreal but really amazing.”

The couple, who are both 26, met at a mutual friend’s party and were dating for several months before Josh plucked up the courage to ask Michelle to be his girlfriend.

Michelle now works on the children’s ward for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.

She added: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my three years at Teesside University. Not only have I made friends for life but the University has provided the best training and experiences for me to be able to work in my dream job.”