19th Nov, 2017

Stranded Solihull pensioner reunited with wife after Spanish care home drama

Shaun Reynolds 21st Feb, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

A STRANDED pensioner and his beloved wife have been reunited after a pair of borough home care workers travelled over 2,000 miles to grant their family’s Christmas wish.

John Milne, 79, had lived in Spain since 2006 after moving from the midlands to pursue a brighter retirement in the southern Spanish city of Jae’n with his wife Moira.

However after suffering from two strokes, John was hospitalised and Moira was forced to return to the UK to live with her daughters as she was unable to look after herself.

With nowhere to live after being discharged from hospital, John was forced to move into a nursing home and, furthermore, was not allowed to fly home as doctors wouldn’t sign the fit to fly form.

A heartbroken Moira was desperate for help and desperate to have her husband back.

It was at this time that Bright Dawn Home Care, based in Hockley Heath, was approached by John’s daughter Leslie Tindal asking if the home care service could help in any way possible.

After meeting with the family, Bright Dawn sent experienced staff members Amy Williams and Joanne Tustin with John’s two son-in-laws to bring him home shortly before the festive period.

John, his son-in-laws and both Joanne and Amy then travelled through Spain, taking in places including Burgos, Aranda de Duero and Madrid before crossing the French border.

Though the former air conditioning and refrigerator engineer found the journey tiring and uncomfortable, a smile still remained on his face knowing that with every hour that passed he was an hour closer to home.

After passing through the Euro Tunnel in Calais, the septet made their way through Folkestone, past Oxford and into Birmingham where John was greeted by his family.

Moira and John were finally reunited shortly before Christmas Day following months of heartache, stress and worry.

Carer Joanne told The Observer she was pleased to help Leslie and her family bring John back home.

She added: “I could see how distressing the situation was for Leslie and I wanted to help.

“Knowing I helped take some pressure off Leslie when Bright Dawn agreed for myself and Amy to assist bringing John home safely by road made it all the more enjoyable.”

Amy added: “It was a great experience which I was grateful to be a part of.

“Knowing John is now back in the UK and was able to spend Christmas with his family was all the motivation I needed to take part in bringing him home.”

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