LIFE

Photo Of Crying Couple Sparks Outrage When Nursing Home Forces Them To Live Separately

by Emerald Pellot
Emerald Pellot graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a degree in Writing & Popular Culture. She worked as Senior Editor of College Candy for 2 years, covering feminism, popular culture, and college life before joining LittleThings in 2015. Based in New York City, Emerald covers a wide range of topics from human interest pieces to celebrity news.

After over 60 years of marriage, Wolf and Anita Gottschalk have been forced to live apart. According to their granddaughter, Ashley Barytik, the nursing home ran out of space for the both of them.

Wolf remains on a waiting list to get into the same care facility as his wife in Surrey, Canada. However, things are not looking good. Wolf was recently diagnosed with cancer and is struggling with dementia.

For the last eight months, Anita has had to travel over 30 minutes away just to see her husband. Every time they have to separate is all the more heartbreaking. In the couple’s state, each goodbye could be the last goodbye. Like Angela and John Molella who died holding each other’s hands showed us once before, every moment together is precious, but the nursing home is refusing to give that to them.

Barytik snapped this photo in hopes that it would go viral. She and her family are struggling to be heard by the health care facility, Fraser Healthcare Authority.

See Barytik’s heartbreaking story below.

“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! But why? It was taken in Surrey at Yale Road, a transitional facility for people waiting to get into nursing homes, that’s where my Opi is!”

“After 62 years together in marriage, they have been separated for [eight] months due to backlogs and delays by our health care system, whom [sic] have the power to have my grandpa moved to the same care facility as my grandmother.”

“They cry every time they see each other, and it is heartbreaking. To make it worse, TODAY he was diagnosed with lymphoma. Besides that 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.”

“This has been a strain on our family, making the 30-minute commute to bring her to see him, every second day, so he does not forget her. Now with the news of cancer, our fight to have them in the same facility is even more urgent. He isn’t even getting proper care where he is, including no physical therapy, which we were promised (the only reason he is in a wheelchair is because it has been [eight] months of no walking!!)”

“They deserve this! Financially, physically, and emotionally exhausted, me and my family are begging for your help, my friends. We have contacted our local MLA, called Fraser Health, and done in-person inquiries, but none of our questions and concerns have been answered.”

“We want justice for my grandparents who after 62 years together deserve to spend their last moments in the same building. Please share this and tag anyone that needs to see this post to get the help we need!”

Please SHARE Ashley’s story to make it loud and clear to Fraser Health that we will not stand for this injustice!