Photo captures elderly couple's heartbreaking separation

WTVD logo
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Heartbreaking story behind elderly couple crying image
Heartbreaking story behind elderly couple crying image
wtvd-Ashley Bartyik

BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA (WTVD) -- UPDATE: An elderly couple that was separated after being put into two different nursing homes are back together again after being forced apart for several months.

An elderly couple forced to live apart for 8 months is finally reunited

The story started with a viral photo of the sweet couple that was even more heartbreaking than the image suggested.

The emotional photo was taken by their granddaughter, Ashley Bartyik, during a visit to see her grandparents. ABC News reported that Bartyik was worried their "heartbreak and the stress could literally kill them."

Bartyik posted the photo on Facebook and it was shared thousands of times.

Wolfram and Anita Gottschalk, of British Columbia, Canada were apparently moved to separate nursing homes months ago.

The Gottschalks have been married for 62 years. Due to backlogs and delays by their health care system, they would be separated for a total of eight months.

Couple shares a bittersweet moment in this touching photo
Credit: Ashley Bartyik

Wolfram Gottschalk, 83, was first put in an assisted living home in January for health complications from dementia. Four months later, Anita Gottschalk, 81, entered assisted living, but was put into a different home than her husband.

Wolfram was placed on a waiting list so he could move in with Anita, but was still stuck without his sweetheart month later.

Credit: Ashley Bartyik

Bartyik says her parents drove Anita to Wolfram's center at least every two days.

"They've been together since they got married in 1954," she said. "They're completely infatuated with each other and have been together in sickness and health. They deserve to stay together."

More on their story here.

Related Topics