94-year-old reunited with 101-year-old sister after 20 years

Brother and sister Eric Nettleton and Ivy Smith with carer Tracy Thomson. Picture: contributed
Brother and sister Eric Nettleton and Ivy Smith with carer Tracy Thomson. Picture: contributed
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FOR many years Eric Nettleton has longed to be reunited with his sister.

It was a dream he had almost given up on due to his age, money worries and his lack of mobility – as she lives more than 400 miles away.

It was amazing to see Ivy again, I was really nervous before we went but it was a great trip.

Eric Nettleton

But just last week, Mr Nettleton’s carer, Tracy Thomson, made his wish come true when she went above and beyond the call of duty, and took him to London to be reunited with his 101-year-old sister, Ivy Smith, for the first time in 20 years.

Mr Nettleton, 94, who lives in Muirhouse, said: “It was amazing to see Ivy again, I was really nervous before we went but it was a great trip.”

Mr Nettleton moved to Edinburgh in 1985 after retiring from a career in the RAF and the security industry.

Since then, he has only returned to London once to attend Ivy’s husband’s funeral, which took place 20 years ago.

Tracy, who has been working as a carer for six years with Primcare Health, said: “On one of my routine visits we were talking about Eric’s birthday and I asked him if he had one wish what would it be?

“He told me he makes a daily wish to see his sister one last time before she or he passes away. It really touched me and I wanted to help him, even if it meant going in my own time and paying for my own expenses.”

Tracy, from Livingston, asked permission from her manager at Primecare Health to assist Eric with his wish and once she was given the go-ahead, she managed to obtain two first-class complimentary tickets from Virgin Trains for their journey.

Primecare Health then offered to pay for additional transport costs and Tracy and Eric left for London on Tuesday, April 12 before returning the next day.

Tracy said: “My head was spinning with the support, I was truly overwhelmed.

“I contacted Ivy’s daughter who informed me her mum was now in a nursing home and was suffering from Alzheimer’s.

“She said Eric would be very welcome but sadly she couldn’t promise that she would remember him. But it didn’t take Ivy long to work out who Eric was – it was an emotional moment to see them reunited.”

The pair spent the night at the Forrester Court Care Home in Shepherd’s Bush, where Ivy is a resident. Tracey has now been nominated for an accolade at the Scottish Care Awards following her efforts.

courtney.cameron@jpress.co.uk