Couple married for 60 years share emotional reunion after eight months apart because of COVID
Watch: Couple reunited in care home after eight months apart
A couple who have been together for over 60 years were reunited last week after eight months apart because of COVID.
Heartwarming video footage shows Lewis Tunnicliffe, 84, embracing his wife Barbara, 81, at the Bradwell Hall care home in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire on last Friday.
Barbara moved into the home last summer after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and Lewis was only allowed to visit her once a week – with the couple separated by a glass screen.
After Lewis's own health deteriorated in December he has now decided to move into the care home and shared an emotional reunion with Barbara.
Footage captured by staff captured the moving moment the pair were reunited with Lewis embracing Barbara, telling her: “You’re beautiful."
As they hold hands and hug, Lewis says “I’ve waited so long for this” and “I’ll be stopping here now.”
Care home staff can also be seen overcome with emotion as one worker tells them: "I told you he was here. You're together now, aren't you?"
Lewis and Barbara have been inseparable since they tied the knot in 1960, but have been apart since July last year.
The couple, who met in 1958 and have two daughters and four grandchildren, who asked care home staff to film the moment they were reunited.
Sam Jackson, 52, said her dad was anxious beforehand that Barbara wouldn’t recognise him and he described it as "like having their first date again"
The married mum-of-one, from Stoke-on-Trent, said: “He was apprehensive and didn’t sleep the night before he was so nervous.
“He had a shave that morning and said it was like having a first date again. The girls at the home did mum’s hair and her nails. They were absolutely great.
“But we were delighted to see them back together after so long apart. It was wonderful to see them holding hands and smiling and so emotional.
“Dad has missed her so much over the summer although he has been in a bubble with my sister, he has been very lonely.”
Former NHS nurse Barbara moved into the care home eight months ago after Lewis, who also has dementia, began struggling to look after her by himself.
Sam added: “My mum has got Alzheimer's and when she fell during the first lockdown she was taken into hospital.
“It became hard for my dad to look after her on his own, so she moved into the care home on the street where they live at the start of August.
“But with COVID restrictions, quarantines and lockdowns dad was only allowed one pod visit to see her at the care home each week.
“It’s when relatives see the residents in a room behind glass screens. So since July that was the only way for him to see her once a week."
Sam said Lewis's health started to deteriorate after Barbara entered the home and eventually he couldn't cope with life on his own.
“He was poorly just after Christmas and was struggling to look after himself at home," she added.
“He needed 24 hour care so we decided as a family to get him a room at Bradwell Hall. The home then moved mum into his unit and that was the reunion at tea time on Friday.
“Before then he hadn’t seen her properly or held her hand for several months, but now he’s going to be living there."
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