Tender hug between elderly couple reunited after 100 days apart in hospital – 'I'll always be there for him'

·Freelance Writer
·2-min read
George and Joyce Bell have been reunited after spending 100 days apart. (Reach)
George and Joyce Bell have been reunited after spending 100 days apart. (Reach)

An elderly couple who have been married for 66 years have shared an emotional reunion after spending an agonising 100 days apart from each other.

George and Joyce Bell were both admitted to hospital separately before going to stay at Tollesby Hall Care Home, Middlesbrough, to recover.

After 100 days apart due to restrictions and their own recoveries, the pair shared a tender hug as they were reunited at the care home last week.

Mrs Bell, 87, said of the moment she saw her 89-year-old husband again again: “I can’t tell you how nice it was. 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.”

George and Joyce Bell have been married for 66 years and were apart for separate hospital stays. (Reach)
George and Joyce Bell have been married for 66 years and were apart for separate hospital stays. (Reach)

Before they were admitted to James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, in June, the couple lived in a bungalow in Marton.

Mrs Bell said: “I made him make me a promise. 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 recover, the pair are both pleased with how well they are being looked after.

Mrs Bell is recovering well from her broken hip, and the staff take her downstairs to visit her husband 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.

George and Joyce Bell were both admitted to hospital separately before going to stay at Tollesby Hall Care Home in Middlesbrough. (Google)
George and Joyce Bell were both admitted to hospital separately before going to stay at Tollesby Hall Care Home in Middlesbrough. (Google)

“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.”

Mr and Mrs Bell grew up in Middlesbrough and lived next door but one to each other.

They married when Mrs Bell was 21 and Mr Bell was 23 and when asked what the secret was to a long marriage, Mrs Bell said: “Let them have their own way and put your foot down, you have to with George.”

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