An elderly couple celebrated their wedding anniversary in a surprise reunion after spending eight months apart.
90-year-old Derek and Phyllis Mapes from England celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary with a romantic dinner following months of separation due to the pandemic.
While the loving couple should have celebrated their anniversary back in February, they were separated after Phyllis fell ill and got admitted to the hospital.
In June, following the senior lady’s hospitalization, Phyllis was transferred to a Norwich-based nursing home called Laurel Lodge.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, the elderly couple was not allowed back together for several months. While they could talk over the phone and see each other through the window, hugs and kisses were not an option.
Eventually, Derek required assistance as well and got transferred to a nursing home. Sadly, however, he wasn’t placed in the same institution as his wife until his relocation on October 15.
Following the big move, Laurel Lodge staff and the couple’s daughter, Heather, started planning a surprise wedding anniversary celebration for the couple.
As the pair arrived at their special dinner, they were greeted with old photographs, heart garlands, balloons, rose petals, and a delicious meal.
“It’s brilliant, it’s good to be back together. You realize what’s been missing,” Derek expressed as he was fighting back his tears.
“The fact I had been a little bit lonely in a bungalow, I was in there on my own,” he added before thanking the staff at the nursing home for the sweet surprise.
Following the reunion, Danielle Bullent, the home’s manager and the couple’s chef for the night, confirmed that the surprise was a big success.
“It felt as if we were not at Laurel Lodge but in this posh restaurant. It was all about them, they had no clue. They’ve been apart for so long,” she said.
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