An elderly couple in Canada that had been separated for eight long months thanks to “back logs and delays” has finally reunited and will now live together in the same retirement home.
The reunion in the making between 83-year-old Wolfram Gottschalk and 81-year-old Anita Gottschalk began when a photo circulated through social media of the couple crying during a visitation in late August, after they had already been separated for months.
In the photo, Wolfram sits in a wheelchair and sobs as Anita sits facing him on a couch, also crying. It was taken by their 29-year-old granddaughter, Ashley Bartyik, who wrote, “This is the saddest photo I have ever taken,” when she posted it to Facebook.
The couple, who had been together for 62 years, were separated due to “back logs and delays” by the health care system, Bartyik wrote, adding that although her grandfather’s dementia was “growing stronger every day,” his memory of his wife “has not faded [an] inch.”
Last week, Wolfram was moved into the same facility as Anita in Surrey, British Columbia, and their tear-filled reunion was caught on camera.
Video shows Anita clutching Wolfram’s face after planting a kiss on him. The two smile and look into each other’s eyes, and Wolfram begins to cry tears of happiness.
“They can now be under the same roof for their remaining years,” Bartyik, who played an active role in facilitating the reunion, wrote on Facebook. Bartyik added that although her grandparents are now together, “the story isn’t over,” and she would continue to advocate for other elderly couples facing similar situations in British Columbia.