An eighty-four-year-old resident at Sedgley Court care home in Dudley has been reunited with her brother thanks to a surprise visit organised by the care home team.
Rosemary Bywater was speaking to her brother John on the phone, as they do every single day, when he suddenly appeared by her side in the resident’s lounge on Saturday (13thNovember). It was the first time they had seen each other in over three years.
John, who lives in in Paignton, Devon, is unable to drive and so the care home manager, Kim Dean, and deputy manager, Emma Southall, drove the seven-hour round trip to collect John and his wife Mary and bring them back to Sedgley Court so they could spend some quality time together before driving them home again the following day.
The care team at Sedgley Court arranged the visit for Rosemary as part of their Wishing Line initiative to make residents dreams come true.
Rosemary and her brother John have always been very close, as children and as adults when they both ran neighbouring hotels in Torquay. Rosemary later moved up to Dudley with her husband Les. Sadly, Les died three years ago and his funeral was the last time that Rosemary and John were able to see each other.
Rosemary moved in to Sedgley Court in February this year. She said: “I can’t believe it and I still feel really, really tearful about it. I just couldn’t believe it was really him standing there next to me.
“When our mother died, she asked John to look after me and he rings me every single day without fail. We had a wonderful afternoon together catching up and the care team had prepared a lovely afternoon tea for us. The team look after me so well here and it was such a wonderful and kind thing to do for me. I will never forget it; it was such a special surprise.”
Kim Dean, Sedgley Court’s Home Manager, said: “Rosemary has had a tough time recently, following the loss of her husband and we knew how much she missed seeing John.
“John is unable to drive due to a health condition and then Covid hit so they have just never been able to get back together. We knew we could help to make this happen for Rosemary and so we spoke to John and started making secret plans.
“On the day, Emma and I drove down to Paignton in Devon to pick up John and his wife Mary and brought them back to Sedgley Court. We booked them a hotel nearby and arranged all the necessary Covid testing beforehand and on the day.
“We prepared a special room for them at Sedgley Court so that they could spend some quality time together with an afternoon tea and an evening meal. We just wanted to make it really special for them.
“When we first arrived, John was speaking to Rosemary on her mobile phone from the car park and he just walked in behind her and surprised her. It was a beautiful thing to see their faces and it was absolutely worth it. We are just so pleased that we could make this happen for them.”
Sedgley Court care home, situated on Brick Kiln Way, is operated by Ideal Carehomes and provides 24-hour residential and dementia care.