This is the heartwarming moment a couple who have been married for 66 years were reunited after being separated for 100 days because of Covid rules.
Octogenarians George and Joyce Bell were admitted to hospital separately due to ill health.
Eventually they were well enough to be discharged, and moved into rooms at the Tollesby Hall Care Home in Middlesbrough to recover.
Because of Covid restrictions in the home it meant that they were separated by a floor and didn’t set eyes on each other for 100 days.
Heartwarming photos show the moment George Bell and wife or 66 years Joyce were reunited at Tollesby Hall Care Home, Middlesbrough after being kept apart for 100 days due to Covid restrictions
But in a tearjerking moment last week, Joyce, who had recovered from a broken hip was brought downstairs to meet her husband.
Images shared by the care home on social media show the couple embracing and resting their heads on each other.
‘I can’t tell you how nice it was,’ said Joyce. ‘I told him I’d always be there for him, no matter what. He held me tight and said he’d never leave me again for the rest of his life.’
Joyce, now 87, and George, 89, grew up in Middlesbrough and lived next door but one to each other.
George, 89, and Joyce Bell, 87, were admitted to hospital separately due to ill health. Eventually they were well enough to be discharged, and moved into rooms at the Tollesby Hall Care Home in Middlesbrough to recover but were not allowed to stay together
But in a tearjerking moment last week, Joyce, who had recovered from a broken hip was brought downstairs to meet her husband
‘My mum used to call him “The big daft lad on the motorcycle”,’ Joyce said.
‘I admired him from afar.
‘He made everyone call him George, he didn’t like Mr Bell, he didn’t like a fuss.’
George was always playing tricks on people but went out of his way to help anyone he could.
They married 66 years ago when Joyce was 21 and George was 23 at St Cuthbert’s Church on Newport Road, which is no longer there.
When asked about the secret to a long marriage, Joyce said: ‘Let them have their own way and put your foot down, you have to with George.’
After his National Service at the start of their marriage, George was an electrician, an armature winder, which he loved, and he would make life-size models of engines as a hobby.
‘I can’t tell you how nice it was,’ said Joyce. ‘I told him I’d always be there for him, no matter what. He held me tight and said he’d never leave me again for the rest of his life’ Pictured: Tollesby Hall Care Home in Middlesbrough
Joyce worked as a mobile window dresser and would go round all the big towns in the area to create the displays.
When she turned 65, she didn’t want to retire because she loved it so much.
For their Ruby wedding anniversary, George bought Joyce a beautiful ring that she will always treasure.
Before they were admitted to James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, in June, they lived in a bungalow in Marton.
‘I made him make me a promise,’ Joyce said. ‘I told him if he ends up going into a home that I’m not going into one.’
But now they are in the nursing home to recuperate, the pair are both pleased with how well they are being looked after.
Joyce is recovering well from her broken hip, and the staff take her downstairs to visit George every day.
Rachel White, activities at Tollesby Hall Care Home, said: ‘With the support from the team here at Tollesby we were able to reunite George and his wife again.
‘When Joyce arrived here at Tollesby Hall we told her husband would be coming in soon after.
‘She was so excited and nervous, she couldn’t sleep, she told staff she felt like a young girl again.
‘It was very emotional when we brought them together for the first time, not just for them but for all the team here at Tollesby who are looking after them.
‘It was such a heart-warming moment to be a part of and moved many of us to tears.
‘With the support of the team here at Tollesby we are looking at getting them back in their home where they can return to their life together to carry on their fairy tale.’