Hospital makes special arrangement to reunite married couple of 68 years

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Saturday, August 8, 2015
Tom and Arnisteen Clark reunited at Piedmont Fayette Hospital.
ABC News

Tom and Arnisteen Clark of Fayetteville, Ga., married for 68 years, were heartbroken when they were each bedridden in the same hospital, but could not see each other. That is until compassionate hospital staff made special arrangements to bring the two back together.

The Clarks had only ever been separated when Tom served in Korea, and their lifelong unity made their stay at Piedmont Fayette Hospital particularly difficult. According to ABC News, the two had both been admitted to the orthopedic surgical floor, but in separate rooms.

"I believe he was brought in a couple days before she was," Charlsie Niemiec, the hospital's social media specialist, told ABC News. "Because they were on the orthopedic surgical floor, none of those rooms have double occupancy so they couldn't be together, and it was clearly breaking their hearts."

The situation was also heartbreaking for empathetic hospital staff until Tina Mann, the orthopedic floor manager, stepped in to make special arrangements for the two to occupy a single room.

"Tina got some help with the clinical staff to go above and beyond to get special visitation rights," Niemiec explained. "He was able to sit there with her for a few hours every single day."

Tom and Arnisteen Clark reunited at Piedmont Fayette Hospital.
ABC News

Tom told ABC News that it meant the world for him to be able to see his bride again.

"I just can't be away from her," the 96-year-old told hospital staff. "She's the finest woman in the world."

Arnisteen, 92, and Tom are scheduled to be released Friday and moved to a rehab facility.

"Here's hoping for a speedy recovery for the Clarks and many more happy years together," the hospital wrote on its Facebook page, along with a touching photo. The post has been shared nearly 2,000 times in just a single day.