A DEVOTED couple have had their hospital beds moved side by side so that they can spend wife Beatrice’s final days together.

Bert Whitehead, aged 90, is comforting Beatrice, 87, as she battles cancer at the Royal Bolton Hospital, after staff moved them so they could be close to each other.

The childhood sweethearts, who have been married for 67 years, were both recently admitted to the hospital.

Mrs Whitehead was taken in four weeks ago, suffering from bone cancer.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Whitehead’s health deteriorated and he was admitted to B3 ward earlier this week.

Their son-in-law, Stephen Hall, said that when Mr Whitehead found out his wife was dying, he wanted to go the ‘same way’.

Mr Hall said that they do not know how long Mrs Whitehead has left and it was only right that the couple, from Farnworth, were together.

Mrs Whitehead was in C2 ward but both are now in B3.

Mr Hall said: “The staff in the two wards brought them into one ward together. They are lying together side-by-side.

“It is devastating. There’s a specialist palliative team that are taking care of her at the moment.

“They have given Beatrice hours or days.

“He has perked up a bit since he came to her side.”

The couple have three children, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Their family have been visiting them in hospital and staff on the separate wards where the pair were staying moved them together on Thursday night.

Up until then Mr Whitehead had been taken in a wheelchair to see his wife.

Mr Hall said: “When they were put together Bert just gave the biggest smile, it was a really touching moment.”

He also praised the staff at the hospital for going the extra mile.

He said: “They have been absolutely brilliant the staff, we can’t fault them whatsoever. We just want to say thank you to them all.”

Suzanne Hall, the couple’s daughter, said that the pair are usually ‘inseparable’ and have spent very little time apart throughout their lives.

While it has been a difficult time for the family, Mr Hall said that it has been heartwarming to see the couple remaining loyal to each other in the hospital.

They married at All Saints Church, Moses Gate, on March 25, 1950 after Mr Whitehead had finished his national service.

They met when Mrs Whitehead was just 15 and spent many years going dancing together.

Before she retired, Mrs Whitehead worked as a tailoress and at a mail order company.

Mr Whitehead worked as a driver at a bathroom centre.

A spokesman for Royal Bolton Hospital said: “We take every step possible to support patients and their relatives when they are approaching end of life. We know how much the little things matter and we do all we can to get them right. Our staff understood how important it was for Mr Whitehead to be by his wife’s side at this difficult time and have made changes on the ward to move them into a separate bay together.

“Mr Whitehead has been by his wife’s side ever since.”