The Oxfordshire-based husband and wife who were separated because of the COVID-19 lockdown finally got to see each other – to celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.
Hilary and Terry Case, both 82, have been married for 60 years but couldn’t celebrate the momentous milestone as Hilary is a resident at Chawley Grove Care Home, which, like all care homes, had implemented a strict no visitors policy during the coronavirus pandemic.
But with the easing of lockdown measures, the couple were finally reunited today for the big occasion.
The emotional reunion took place in the gardens of Chawley Grove care home, on Cumnor Hill, where Hilary is a resident. The couple enjoyed a celebratory cake and some champagne to toast the milestone.
Hilary and Terry first met at a friend’s wedding back in 1958, and it was love at first sight.
Terry caught Hilary’s eye as he was the best man to the groom and looked very ‘dashing’ in his RAF uniform. Terry was assigned overseas, but on his return they married on 18th June 1960.
Chawley Grove resident Hillary Case she was delighted to see her husband Terry after spending so long apart.
She said: “It’s wonderful to see Terry again. I really didn’t like to be apart from him, so to celebrate our anniversary together like this is just fantastic.”
Husband Terry, said he was glad the wait was finally over and he was ‘over the moon’ to see Hilary again.
He said: “It’s been so hard and worrying not to be together. Nobody knew what would happen at the start of lockdown and I just wanted Hilary to be safe.
“The home and all the staff were fantastic and I knew that she was being well looked after. I’ve been able to see Hilary on video calls but there’s nothing like seeing her in person, it’s been wonderful.”
Today’s reunion was one of the first at the luxury home since visits were suspended at the beginning of March to shield the residents from the coronavirus. The early lockdown was a success and there have been no confirmed cases at the home.
The carefully controlled visit took place in a bunting-draped awning in the garden of the luxury care home with a two-metre spacing between chairs.
Home Manager Theresa Whitford said she was delighted that the beloved couple could celebrate safely together at Chawley Grove.
She said: “It’s wonderful that Hilary and Terry could be reunited like this. I know it’s been hard for them to be separated, as it has been for all our families, and I hope this is the first of many visits for the couple.
“Keeping residents safe and well is our number one priority, but now that the virus is in retreat and we have a safe way to host people, we want to make sure all our residents can see their families as much as possible.”
Chawley Grove is now open to admissions – please call 01865 957650 for more details or visit their webpage.