An elderly couple, married for over six decades, shared a tearful reunion after a months-long separation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Joseph Loreth, 80, was hospitalized for surgery in March, and his wife, Eve, also 80, was prohibited from visiting him due to health and safety restrictions.
Talking to The Epoch Times via email, a spokesperson for Rosecastle, the assisted-living facility at Delaney Creek in Brandon, Florida, where the couple stays, said the couple met as high-schoolers at a rollerskating rink. The soulmates married and made their home in Iowa, welcoming five children and eventually over a dozen grandchildren.
The spokesperson said that surgeons were forced to amputate Joseph's lower left leg, after which he entered rehab and a protracted separation from his wife. Eve joined the Rosecastle family while Joseph was in rehab.
Joseph and Eve subsisted on phone calls and visitations through the glass of the hospital windows for 215 days.
However, on Oct. 15, the staff at Rosecastle brought Joseph home to greet his wife in person. The staff shared a video of the emotionally charged moment on social media.
The moment of their reunion meant "everything" to Joseph. "I couldn't ask for a better woman," he said.
In the clip, a staffer wheels Joseph in his chair toward the dining area, where Eve is sitting, engaged in coloring and completely oblivious to her husband's approach.
Eve exclaims, "Oh my God ... I sure did miss you," as she stands to hug her husband. Joseph, through tears, tells his wife, "I didn’t think I would ever get over here. I missed you so much!"
"Oh you're alright, I love you so much," Joseph exclaims as the pair hold hands. "For 60 years, I've done something right."
Clary Abreu, Life Enrichment Coordinator who facilitated the reunion, said that staffers "just couldn't wait" to see the couple reunited.
"Miss Eve was told that he was coming here and she was so excited," Abreu said. "She paced, probably all night, and sat out in the dining room waiting for him."
Seeing how eager Eve was to meet her husband, Clary "couldn't keep them apart any longer," the spokesperson said.
"So while the family was finalizing contracts and paperwork for Joseph, she went ahead and wheeled him in to see Eve," the spokesperson said. "The two were overcome with emotion to be together again."
"Rosecastle at Delaney Creek is proud to have helped bring these two back together in a safe environment they can now call home."