'Wonderful' couple reunited at Woodford Green care home

Gemma and Ronald Smith at Harts House.

Gemma and Ronald Smith at Harts House. - Credit: Harts House Bupa Care Home

A "wonderful" couple who have been married for more than 50 years have been reunited at a Woodford Green care home after months of separation.

Ronald Smith, 80, moved into Harts House Bupa Care Home last month after spending time in a Kent care home when his wife Gemma, 77, was admitted to hospital. She joined him a short time later after being discharged.

In doing so, the couple returned to the area they had lived in for 43 years, allowing Gemma to be in familiar surroundings as well as live with her husband again after four months apart.

Ronald said: “When I saw Gemma again, it was like seeing her for the first time, my heart skipped a beat. The first thing we did when we saw each other was kiss and have a lovely cuddle.”

Gemma and Ronald Smith 

Gemma and Ronald Smith - Credit: Harts House Bupa Care Home

The couple met at a badminton club in 1967 and it was love at first sight, with Ronald proposing to Gemma after just ten days.

Gemma agreed to his countless marriage proposals four months later and the couple were married within nine months. They went on to have five children – Claire, Gabrielle, Catherine, Andrew and Phillippa.

Gemma said: “Ron has always been a romantic. We fancied each other from the day we met.

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"He took me to the pictures and a car show on our first date. From then on, I knew he was one of a kind. I’m so thrilled to be with him again at our new home at Harts House. It’s a brand new chapter for us.”

Annette Hill, resident experience manager at Harts House, has followed the couple's story since Ronald moved in.

Annette said: “Ron always talked about Gemma before she joined us at Harts House. It was extremely heart-warming to see them reunited and we’re pleased to bring them together again.

“Even after a short time, we can tell they are wonderful characters and a great addition to our home. We’re looking forward to caring for the couple and seeing them enjoy their time together at Harts House.”