British Columbia

'Saddest-photo' couple reunited after being forced apart

An elderly couple forced to live apart against their wishes has been reunited at a Surrey, B.C. facility.

Wolfram and Anita Gottschalk are back living together after being separated for 9 months

Married 62 years, Wolfram and Anita Gottschalk have been reunited after being forced to live apart at separate care facilities. (Ashley Bartyik)

An elderly couple forced to live apart against their wishes has been reunited at a Surrey, B.C. facility.

Wolfram Gottschalk has been moved into the same seniors' care home where his wife Anita is living, nine months after they were separated.

Married for 62 years, the couple's story led to an outpouring of support and outrage after their granddaughter posted a heartbreaking photo of them crying during a visit. 

The Gottschalk family released a statement thanking the local health authority, Fraser Health, and "everyone around the world."

"Thursday, our family joyfully witnessed the reunification of Wolfram and Anita Gottschalk," the statement read.

"The reunion saw tears of joy for all involved. They can now be under the same roof for their remaining years." 

Granddaughter Ashley Bartyik took this heartbreaking photo of her grandparents last month as they met for a visit at a transition house for people waiting to get into nursing homes. (Facebook/Ashley Bartyik)

Wolfram, 83, was hospitalized in January and subsequently moved to the Yale Road Centre in North Surrey, a transitional residential care facility located 30 minutes' drive from his home. 

In July, Anita, 81, moved into an assisted living facility. Because Wolfram suffers from dementia and lymphoma he requires a higher level of care than his wife, which made it it difficult to find a place where the couple could live together.