Hugs, kisses and tears flowed freely as an elderly Cape Town couple were reunited after being apart for the longest time in nearly 30 years.
Andrew Hoskin (70) and his wife, Gwendolene (73), have been married for 53 years, but when Andrew was diagnosed with cancer and had to be hospitalised recently, the couple were separated for two weeks.
“That two weeks felt like forever,” Andrew tells us. “When I saw my wife all my pain went away.”
“It’s the longest time my grandparents had been apart since 1992,” their grandson Aldeano told YOU.
Gwendolene, who suffered a stroke in 1992, rarely leaves their house, Aldeano explained.
After her stroke, Andrew retired and dedicated his life to taking care of his wife. Until he was hospitalised in October, at the Mitchells Plain District Hospital, they hadn’t spent as much as a day apart.
“My grandmother doesn’t come out of the house because she’s disabled and needs the bathroom frequently, so [my grandfather] didn’t expect to see her until he was discharged.
“He’d missed his family, especially my grandmother,” Aldeano says.
Andrew’s family decided to surprise him with a social-distance visit, and because they weren’t allowed inside the hospital, they made a banner that read, “Hi Pa, we love you,” which they held up for him to see from his window.
That plan didn’t work, because he couldn’t see the banner, but nursing staff said he could come outside for some fresh air.
Andrew was overwhelmed when he saw his family – and then he spotted his beloved Gwendolene in the car.
“At that moment they both broke down in tears, it was such a magical moment,” says Aldeano, adding that he “wanted to share it on social media because it’s true love, it’s a different type of love”.
The video clip of the couple’s reunion has since gone viral after he posted it on Facebook.
“I was happy to see the love of my life,” Gwendolene says.
Andrew, who had colon cancer, had surgery on 26 October, and has been discharged from hospital.
He’s still waiting to hear if the cancer was successfully removed, or if he’ll have to undergo chemotherapy treatment too.
“My grandmother is strong, but you can see she’s emotionally weak when it comes to the topic,” Aldeano says. “It was overwhelming and emotional because we don’t know what’s in store for him. He’s back home, walking around, just waiting to find out if he has to start chemotherapy.”