The granddaughter of Wolf and Anita Gottschalk says this is the 'saddest photo I have ever taken.'

Family fights to reunite South Surrey couple

Wolfram and Anita Gottschalk are living in separate care homes after 62 years of marriage.

A South Surrey woman is fighting to reunite her elderly grandparents, who – after 62 years of marriage – are living in separate care homes.

“They cry every time they see each other, and it is heartbreaking,” said Ashley Bartyik in a Facebook post Tuesday.

Longtime Semiahmoo Peninsula residents Wolfram and Anita Gottschalk have been living apart for eight months – Wolfram, 83, in Yale Road Centre in North Surrey, and Anita, 81, at The Residence at Morgan Heights a half-hour drive away.

Wolfram is on a wait-list to move into the same facility as his wife in South Surrey, but his failing health prompted their granddaughter to speak out.

Bartyik told Peace Arch News Thursday that her grandfather was diagnosed this week with lymphoma, and his dementia is getting worse. Bartyik said her family fears if they are apart for much longer, his memory of her won’t stay.

“The point is for them to be together in their final days,” she said. “Now with the news of cancer, our fight to have them in the same facility is even more urgent.”

Bartyik said she’s reached out to her MLA and Fraser Health Authority, but her family’s questions and concerns remain. She said her family hasn’t been contacted by the health authority since her grandparents were separated.

“Our family is just desperate. If there’s anyone that can help us get him moved to our grandmother quicker, we’d just really like the help. We’re still not getting it from Fraser Health.”

Bartyik shared her story in a desperate bid to bring her grandparents back together. She didn’t anticipate her post would go “completely viral.”

As of Thursday morning her post had been shared by more than 2,900 people.

“It shows just how many families, not only in Canada but around the world are sick of health care systems,” she said. “It just kind of opened the door to people’s frustrations that maybe weren’t voiced before.”

Fraser Health Authority spokesperson Tasleem Juma wasn’t able to return a call from PAN by press time, but told CTV News officials are working to reunite the couple and “hope to do so in the next few weeks.”

 

Just Posted

White Rock water testing well within Health Canada guidelines

Drinking water more than measuring up to current standards, Dr. Saad Jasim tells council

Surrey-North Delta Meals on Wheels in ‘desperate’ search for new partner

Without a new kitchen found by Sept. 1, the charity says it won’t have food to deliver to those in need

Grieving mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Stay home, cats – only pet dogs are OK to attend ‘Cat Walk’ at Surrey park

Surrey Community Cat Coalition’s second annual fundraiser planned Saturday

White Rock’s Mueller wins World Series of Poker bracelet

Third career WSOP win for former professional hockey player

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

B.C. municipality prepares to forbid overnight camping by homeless despite court ruling

While courts have ruled against blanket bans, Langley City is employing a site-by-site approach

B.C. auditor says Indigenous grad rate highest ever but education gaps exist

The percentage of Indigenous students graduating from B.C. public high schools has hit its highest level ever

Statistics Canada reports annual pace of inflation rises in May to 2.4%

Transportation prices gained 3.1 per cent as the cost of air transportation added 8.9 per cent

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

As wildfire season approached, Metro Vancouver experts predict the air will be an issue for many

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Most Read

l -->