Nurses snapped a heartwarming photo of an elderly couple for their family to show they were being well looked after whilst recovering from the coronavirus.
Tony, the son of Bill and Betty Bryant, husband and wife for 69 years, feared the worst when his parents both showed symptoms of coronavirus.
Both his father, 93, and his mother, 89, were at high risk for perishing from the deadly disease.
But Tony praised their ‘titanium’ wartime spirit as he shared pictures of the pair having a cuddle on the ward as they both recovered from the virus.
Tony said nurses even shed a tear as they took the pictures.
He said: “With dad’s heart issues and Mum’s lung disease we feared the worst. But this war generation – they were both evacuees – are made of titanium.
“The staff at the Eastbourne District General Hospital were smitten with them as they are both on Westham ward, where they had lunch and cuddles together.”
Tony said the staff burst into tears after taking the photo of Bill and Betty.
Tony said: “It’s sad but also not so sad. They are in different sections but it’s nice they are in together and they are close. The nurses wheel them to lunch together.”
Despite significant health issues, both Betty and Bill had been living independently in their bungalow.
As the pandemic got worse, their children decided it was best for them to spend lockdown in Grange House care home, where they were ‘treated like royalty’.
But after episodes of breathing issues, around 10 days ago they were both taken to hospital, where they tested positive for COVID-19.
Tony, 66, said, “What astounds me is you that people over 70 are really at risk. My dad’s got a heart condition and yet he’s just fought through this.
“My mum’s got chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, new hips and finding it difficult to move. Yet she’s dealt through with it.
“I think it’s because the two of them are together. They almost keep each other going.”
Tony added: “The staff in the hospital have been absolutely tremendous. The message was really sweet, it was a nice touch when they did that, they didn’t have to.”
Bill and Betty are on the mend, Tony says, and they should be discharged from hospital in the next week or so.
However, the couple will still have to self-isolate for the next two weeks.
Tony, with his brother Alan, has taken this opportunity to redecorate their bungalow.
Born in 1927 in Normans Bay, Bill was formerly in the Royal Marines but also worked as one of the last steam train drivers in Eastbourne, and later as a postman.
Betty was born in 1931, and was born and bred in Eastbourne. The pair have two sons, four grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.