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

Surrey woman with autism has scooter stolen from SkyTrain station

Kayla Polege purchased scooter after ‘shutdowns’ on transit

Phase three of ‘King George Hub’ development moves forward

Coast Capital Savings headquarters next to King George SkyTrain was phase one of the project

HOCKEY: Olympic dreams for Surrey teen now with Canada’s U18 team

Cloverdale’s Jenn Gardiner a third-year star with Comets of B.C. Female Major Midget League

OUR VIEW: Memories of the ‘strip’ still fresh

Can’t blame Surrey residents for being wary after the human tragedy of 135A Street

‘Quite a coup’ in rail-safety funding: South Surrey-White Rock MP

Relocation study not included in money for infrastructure improvements along waterfront train route

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Off Nova Scotia, a bid to ‘unravel the mystery’ of great white sharks

The question: Is Nova Scotia the second mating site for Atlantic white sharks, something scientists say could be key to protecting the endangered species.

Man arrested after carjacking, collision, pepper spray attacks in Vancouver

Vancouver police say one man is in custody after a chaotic scene of events in the downtown core

Canadian investigator says World Anti-Doping Agency got a bad deal from Russia

A Canadian lawyer says the World Anti-Doping Agency rushed into accepting a bad deal by reinstating the country’s drug-testing program.

Fashion Fridays: Rock some animal print

Kim XO, lets you in on the latest fall fashion trends on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

New evacuations ordered because of Florence flooding

Emergency managers on Friday ordered about 500 people to flee homes along the Lynches River

B.C. doctor weighs in on the kid ‘screen time’ debate

A Maple Ridge mother opens up about her children’s use of tablets, smartphones and television

Volunteer-based safety team gets city funding to continue work in Vancouver

Good Night Out is a non-profit society that works to keep people safe at night on Granville Strip

Most Read