After knocking two decades off her looks, Kay Silver – a hypnotherapist and belly dancer – has realised that the surgeon’s knife is not the answer to lasting happiness
This time last year Kay Silver was the happiest she had ever been.
After years of feeling insecure, a £5,000 facelift had knocked two decades off her looks and landed her a boyfriend young enough to be her son.
And at the age of 55 the former model was moving in with her toyboy lover and looking forward to a life of cosy coupledom .
But 12 months on, devastated Kay is facing life alone once again – and the bare-faced truth that nothing can stop the natural ageing process.
For she has been dumped by partner Dean Thomasset, 37, because she is too old to have his children.
Kay, now 56, was stunned when the mechanic walked out on their two-year relationship.
Just days earlier they had been out shopping for wedding rings.
But the hypnotherapist and belly dancer says she has finally realised that the surgeon’s knife is not the answer to lasting happiness.
She explains: “I don’t look or feel my age – but in the end the big gap in years caught up with me and Dean.
“I knew he wanted children but thought he’d accepted it wasn’t an option if he stayed with me. So when he left because of that I was naturally devastated.
It was hard for him, too, though. He had to walk out on the woman he loved because she couldn’t give him children.
“The fact is I could change my looks to appear 20 years younger but I can’t change my biological clock.”
It was not until late in life that Kay worried about her looks.
She married young and in her 20s worked as a Bunny Girl at the Playboy nightclub in London.
In 1982 she began modelling then later took up belly dancing and went on to teach it – meaning she kept her trim figure.
After her marriage broke down in 1995, Kay had a couple of long-term relationships but none lasted. She began to feel low and miserable at how her looks had faded.
“My face gave way to gravity although my body didn’t,” she says.
“I had saggy jowls and a turkey neck. I found it difficult to talk to men and didn’t have any confidence.”
So in August 2011, Kay spent £5,000 on a facelift at Linia Cosmetic Surgery.
She was delighted to regain her looks and when she met Dean soon afterwards he had no idea she was nearly 20 years older than him.
“He never asked my age,” recalls Kay. “We had a lot in common. Both of us were married previously but we had no children.
“It was love at first sight for me and he seemed very keen too. I was over the moon. I was in my mid-50s and being pursued by a handsome, interesting man.
“I decided to go with it, as you only live once.
“I think he believed I was in my late 30s or early 40s. I didn’t set him straight. I worried he’d go off me if he knew my real age.”
They dated and grew inseparable. Kay, of Aldershot, Hants, says: “I’d had years of misery alone but meeting Dean changed everything and I thought we’d stay together.
“I had gone under the knife to boost my confidence but it had boosted my love life too.
“I was blissfully happy but had a niggling worry that if Dean found out my real age he might leave me.
“Early on he’d said he wanted children so I didn’t dwell on it too much but I knew it may be a deal-breaker.
“Although I didn’t tell him my real age I did let him know about my facelift. He was very laid back and took it all in his stride.”
In December 2011 Dean took time off work to care for Kay after another procedure on her neck to lift saggy skin.
She says: “He was kind, gentle and seemed besotted with me. But despite growing close we still hadn’t discussed my age.
“I hadn’t asked his as I didn’t want to start that conversation.”
Incredibly, it was several months before Dean discovered Kay was significantly older than him.
She recalls: “We’d booked a romantic holiday and I wrote my birth date on the form. He couldn’t believe I was 53. He said he’d assumed I was about his age.
“But as usual Dean was a gentleman.
Though he was a bit in shock he assured me it wasn’t an issue. When he told his friends and family they stayed supportive of our relationship, as were mine.
“No one had a problem with it – or if they did they never voiced it.”
The happy couple even shared their love story with Mirror readers and in January 2012 moved in together.
A month later Dean proposed.
Around the same time a friend offered to be an egg donor and surrogate for the pair.
“It was generous of her,” says Kay, “but we hadn’t been together long and thought it was too big an ask.”
She adds: “Although I’d always known Dean wanted kids, I didn’t think he’d leave me over it.”
But in September, after two years together, things changed while on holiday in Egypt.
“We’d been shopping for wedding rings and not long afterwards Dean told me he didn’t want to get married,” claims Kay, fighting tears.
“I spent the rest of the trip wondering if he still wanted me.”
Once home, confused Kay told Dean she needed some space and he went to stay with relatives.
She says: “We were both confused. I’d gone from being happily engaged to a total wreck. Then Dean raised the subject of children.
“He realised he really wanted them and knew it wouldn’t happen if he stayed with me. So he moved out.”
It wasn’t long till Kay heard he was dating again.
She says: “It was as if he was in a desperate rush to settle down. As if his clock was ticking too. My world fell apart and my weight plummeted.”
The couple missed each other and tried to give it another go but split for good in October 2013.
Bulimia survivor Kay – who worked in the slimming business for 20 years – then wrote a lifestyle diet book.
“A friend said I needed a challenge to distract me from my heartache,” she explains.
She has also built up the confidence to join a dating website. “I’ve gone on a few dates but I’m not ready to settle down yet,” she says.
“And I’ll stick to men of a similar age or older than me. Looking back, it probably wasn’t wise dating someone so much younger.
“Had Dean and I been the same age, I believe we’d be together today. I wish him all the best in the future.”
Dean told the Mirror: “Kay and I had two wonderful years together but I’ve always wanted to have children and sadly that couldn’t have happened if we’d stayed together.”
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