By Cox Media Group National Content Desk
SURREY, Canada – A granddaughter in Surrey, Canada, is upset with her health care system because it is forcing her grandparents to live apart from each other after being married for 62 years.
Ashley Bartyik posted a photo on Facebook Tuesday of her grandparents, Wolfram Gottschalk, 83, and Anita Gottschalk, 81, wiping away tears.
“This is the saddest photo I have ever taken,” Bartyik said in the photo caption.
Bartyik said her grandparents are unable to live together in the same care home because of “backlogs and delays by our healthcare system,” and lack of space in the care facility.
Bartyik said the system “(has) the power to have my grandpa moved to the same care facility as my grandmother” and the situation is made worse by Wolfram Gottschalk’s developing dementia and his lymphoma diagnosis.
CTV News reported that, according to Bartyik, she has received hundreds of private messages from strangers ranging from thank-yous to advice on how to navigate the health care system for her grandparents.
In a statement to CBC News, Fraser Health spokeswoman Tasleem Juma said the health care service provider is “exploring options other than this particular facility that his wife is at now.”
“Certainly when the scope is narrowed to one facility, it becomes difficult to place them there, because we have to wait for another bed to become available,” Juma said.
Juma told CTV News the company will “continue to work to reunite this couple.”
“We certainly understand how heartbreaking this is for the family. It’s upsetting for us as well,” she said.
But Bartyik said in a Facebook post Thursday that she and her family “have not received one single phone call from them in the past 8 months that this has been going on.”