Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Photo of a Surrey couple saying goodbye strikes chord

A heartbreaking photo posted online showing an elderly couple holding hands and crying has been shared thousands of times on Facebook.

Wolf and Anita Gottschalk of Surrey, B.C, who have been married for 62 years, are saying goodbye before heading back to their separate nursing homes. For the last eight months they have been forced to live apart. Every other day their granddaughter Ashley Bartyik, drove the 40-minute distance so they can see each other. Every time it was time to say goodbye, they would both be in tears. Bartyik, 29, cares for the Gottschalks full time. She posted a picture on Facebook hoping to attract the attention of her local community. The post has been shared thousands of times and has gained international attention.

“We want justice for my grandparents who after 62 years together deserve to spend their last moments in the same building,” her post reads. In January, Wolf Gottschalk was placed into Yale Road Centre after suffering from congestive heart failure. His wife, Anita, 81, lived in a home 40 minutes away. Wolf Gottschalk, 83, suffers from dementia and was also diagnosed with lymphoma this week. The memory of his wife has not faded.
A spokeswoman for Fraser Health said, “We are committed to reuniting the couple and we hope to do so within the next few weeks.” For now, Wolf Gottschalk has been moved to a facility just down the road from his wife.