United Kingdom

Emotional moment husband, 87, and wife, 91, forced to live in separate care homes are reunited

An elderly couple has had an emotional reunion after spending four months living in separate care homes amid coronavirus lockdown. 

Retired police officer Peter Foster, 87, and his wife of 59 years Doreen, 91, were forced apart when Peter fell unwell and had to be hospitalised in February. 

Photographs have captured the heartwarming moment they were reunited at Donwell House Care Home, Washington, yesterday. 

Doreen said: 'It was very difficult not seeing each other, especially in the evening.

'We missed each other so much. Peter arrived first and said he was so excited to see me and I was ecstatic to have him back by my side.' 

Retired police officer Peter Foster, 87, and his wife of 59 years Doreen, 91, were forced apart when Peter fell unwell and had to be hospitalised in February. Photographs have captured the heartwarming moment they were reunited at Donwell House Care Home, Washington

Until last year Peter was Doreen's main carer but in December his health started to rapidly deteriorate. 

By February he was in hospital and had been diagnosed with lymphona, a cancer that starts in the infection-fighting cells of the immune system.

While Peter received treatment Doreen was taken in to respite care at Ashley Lodge Care Home, in Sunderland. Peter was then discharged to recover at Alexandra View Care Centre, just 1.3 miles away across the River Wear.

But when the coronavirus lockdown was put in place on March 23 this left the couple unable to see each other for the first time in their marriage - leaving them heartbroken.

After five months of living apart, Peter and Doreen's social worker and family intervened and brought smiles to the two soulmates' faces when they had an emotional reunion.  

Doreen and Peter first met in Hartlepool in the late 1950s when he was a young policeman and she was a conductress on the buses.

After five months of living apart, Peter and Doreen's social worker and family intervened and brought smiles to the two soulmates' faces when they had an emotional reunion

Peter used to wink at her at the traffic lights while he was on duty, his charm flattered Doreen, and they started courting.

A few years later, Peter and Doreen got married and spent their early years of marriage in Evenwoof, Durham.

Wanting to start a family, the doting couple moved to Jarrow and Doreen gave birth to their four children; Catherine, Alyson, John and Peter all within four years of each other.

In 1973, the family moved to a new housing estate in Washington while Peter continued to work as a policeman in Gateshead and Sunderland and Doreen was a dinner nanny in local schools.

Doreen and Peter first met in Hartlepool in the late 1950s when he was a young policeman and she was a conductress on the buses

During this time they loved taking their family on holidays, from taking a touring caravan all over Scotland and England to venturing to Italy and Portugal with all four children in the car.

Peter retired from the police force and all their children flew the nest, married and had children of their own.

They now have six grandchildren and a great-grandchild. 

Peter said: 'We've had a long and happy marriage together through knowing each other inside out, always making sure we spend time together and of course Doreen is always right.' 

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