Together again! Elderly couple forced into separate nursing homes finally reunited

A photo of the grandparents weeping as they said goodbye went viral this summer

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They are the crying Canadian couple forced to live in separate nursing facilities after 62 years of marriage, whose photo made headlines across the world.

When Ashley Bartyik posted a picture on Facebook of her weepy grandparents saying goodbye to each other it went viral last month.

Now the young woman has posted a video of her “Omi” and “Opi” being reunited as Wolfram Gottschalk was finally moved into the same facility as his wife Anita after eight months apart.

And the video of the elderly couple’s romantic reunion will make the most hardened soul misty-eyed.

In August Ashley uploaded a Facebook photo of her grandparents in floods of tears. In a post that has been shared nearly 11,000 times, she wrote: “This is the saddest photo I have ever taken.

“This is my Omi and my Opi. As you can see they are both wiping away tears!”

She goes on to explain that her grandfather was being kept in a “transitional facility for people waiting to get into nursing homes.” For eight months, due to a backlog, he was unable to live with his wife.

On the day the photo was taken Wolfram, who suffers from dementia, had been diagnosed with lymphoma, which is a cancer of the immune system.

Ashley wrote: “They cry every time they see each other, and it is heart breaking…

“Besides that [the lymphoma] limiting his time and making this more urgent, his dementia is growing ever stronger each day, but his memory of my grandmother has not faded a [sic] inch…yet.

“We are afraid however that if they are living apart much longer, his memory of her won’t stay.”

But on Friday Ashley wrote that – after months of their family taking Anita to see Wolfram every other day – her grandfather has finally been moved to the same residence as her grandmother.

“The reunion saw tears of joy for all involved,” she wrote. “They can now be under the same roof for their remaining years, and we couldn’t be more grateful.”

She added: “They would like to thank Fraser Health for this reunion, and also the media for helping to get their story heard.

“They also wish to thank everyone around the world that liked, share or discussed their story.”

She ended her post by saying: “SUCCESS!”

See the heart-warming video of Anita and Wolfram’s reunion here:


Nancy Brown
Associate Editor