After 62 years of marriage, Canadian couple Wolf and Anita Gottschalk are facing their worst nightmare: They’ve been forced to live in separate nursing homes and are only able to see each other every other day.For the past eight months, the couple from Surrey, British Columbia, has lived apart, People reports. Multiple times a week, a family member will pick up 81-year-old Anita and drive her nearly 30 minutes each way to visit 83-year-old Wolf. Usually, that duty falls to their granddaughter Ashley Bartyik.Advertisement – Continue Reading BelowBartyik took to Facebook earlier this week to raise awareness about her grandparents’ heartbreaking situation. “This is the saddest photo I have ever taken,” she wrote in the post. “As you can see they are both wiping away tears!”https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1015388114… ” >
Most PopularIn the post, Bartyik writes that Anita and Wolf, who suffers from dementia and was also recently diagnosed with lymphoma, cry every time they see each other. She also says that the Canadian health care system might be to blame for their prolonged separation: “After 62 years together in marriage they have been separated for 8 months due to backlogs and delays by our health care system, who have the power to have my grandpa moved to the same care facility as my grandmother,” she wrote.Although Wolf’s dementia has not yet affected his memory of or love for Anita, Bartyik worries that they might not have much time before his health deteriorates even more. So, in her Facebook post, Bartyik urged her friends to share her grandparents’ story:
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!
Bartyik’s post has now been shared more than 5,000 times.[h/t People]