A doting couple who were separated by care bosses after 70 years together have been reunited thanks to the power of social media.
Jessie and Ray Lorrison had not spent a single day apart from each other since meeting seven decades ago.
However, the pair, who relatives say are “inseparable” were threatened with being torn away from each other for the first time since 1946.
When 88-year-old Jessie fell ill nine weeks ago, she was taken into hospital.
Ninety-five-year-old Ray remained at Westoe Grange Care Home in South Shields, South Tyneside, where the two had been living together.
But, when it came to bringing her out of hospital, her family were told that Jessie now did not meet the necessary care criteria to enable her to live with Ray.
However, after a large-scale social media campaign, South Tyneside council say they have found a solution and, as soon as Jessie is well again, she can move back to the same place as her beloved husband.
The couple’s grandson Lee Bates, 41, had launched an on-line petition to keep them together, which was signed by 20,000 people in just a few days.
On Facebook, Mr Bates wrote: “My very elderly grandparents are being separated by South Tyneside Social Services after 70 years together.”
He said that his grandmother was sitting waiting for his wife everyday – “confused, anxious and lonely without the woman who has been by his side for 70 years.
“My grandmother misses her husband terribly and still wants to do what she can to care for him – even if it’s just sitting by his side holding his hand. It is cruel.”
Ray’s petition was signed by more than 20,000 people on the change.org site.
When Jessie was taken to hospital following a fall, she was able to stay at Westoe upon her release, until she collapsed again and was rushed back to hospital.
She was set to go back to the former marital home where the couple lived together for 60 years and daily visits were arranged for a carer to help her. But she will now be reunited with her husband so they can make the most of their remaining time together.
South Tyneside Council said while Jessie would no longer be able to live independently as a result of moving to the care home, they were pleased that the two would be reunited.