An eleventh-hour dash has meant a 93-year-old man was able to get home in time to open presents with his wife of 67 years after a long stay in hospital. 

Gordon Laing had been in hospital for three weeks after surgery for a hip replacement and was facing the prospect of being in hospital at Christmas. 

The 93-year-old, from Ipswich, was unable to be discharged until a care package was put in place, meaning he would not be at home with his wife Betty.

The couple have been married for 67 years. 

Three days before Christmas, care service Right at Home Ipswich received a call from Mr Laing's daughter asking for help. 

The service, which cares for older adults in the community, launched "Operation Home for Christmas" and were able to bring Mr Laing home on Christmas Eve.

Mr Laing's daughter Jane said: “I was relieved when I received the phone call from Right at Home, telling me dad could go home for Christmas. The CareGivers are providing an amazing service, and they are already making a difference to dad’s wellbeing.”

Among those co-ordinating the efforts to get Mr Laing home was Right at Home deputy care manager Catherine Denny. 

She said: “When I received the call from Mr Laing’s daughter, I knew I had to do all I could to get him home. No one should have to be separated from their loved one if it can be avoided, especially at Christmas, and the thought of an elderly couple being apart broke my heart.

“When I saw Mr and Mrs Laing together at their home on Christmas Eve, the happiness on both of their faces was clear for all to see, and it made me feel happy and proud, knowing that we’d been able to make that happen for them.”

Service director Claire Percy added: "The team was completely motivated by Gordon’s desire to get home, as he felt that at the age of 93, if he didn’t get home for Christmas, he might not get home at all.”

Shortly after this, we contacted Gordon’s daughter to confirm we could assist and get her dad home for Christmas to be with his wife, Betty. She was over the moon."