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Coronavirus: Senior Kingston couple evacuated from Spain amid COVID-19 outbreak, home safe

Click to play video 'Kingston elderly couple stuck in Spain are now home safe' Kingston elderly couple stuck in Spain are now home safe
WATCH: Suki Falkner and her husband Fred Colwell were airlifted out of Spain to Kingston on Sunday night and are happy to be home – Mar 23, 2020

Editor’s note: This story is an update to an earlier story already published. 

A senior couple stuck in Granada, Spain managed to get home to Kingston late Sunday night.

“Something came through on my iPad saying, ‘We can take you home today. Call immediately,'” said 77-year old Suki Falkner.

That message, which came on Sunday morning Spanish time, was from Global Jetcare, an international air ambulance company based out of Spain.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Kingston couple in Spain may be airlifted home, another Kingstonian trapped in Ecuador

“So we called and she said [a representative from Global Jetcare], ‘can you be ready in half an hour to leave?’ and we said yes,” said Falkner.
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“They drove me right up to this little Learjet.

“By the way, they said, ‘you can bring anything you can fit in your lap’. So we walked out of the flat [in Granada, Spain], leaving huge suitcases of stuff [she chuckles]”

And so began a 13-hour trip back to Kingston and their home in Postsmouth Village.

Suki Falkner on board a Global Jetcare plane, on her way back to Kingston, Ont. Suki Falkner/Global News

“The next hoop was the Azores to St. Johns, Newfoundland,” says Falkner, “and then finally the last hoop was Kingston, were an ambulance was waiting for us and drove us home last night and carried me in.

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“And here we are. It was incredible.”

Suki Falkner’s hunsband, Fred Colwell on board the Global Jetcare plane. Suki Falkner/Global News

Happy to be home with her husband, 86-year old Fred Colwell, both are now feeling a deep sense of relief and gratitude for all the support they received in Spain and here in Canada.

“We had the occasional thought that we would die in Spain,” says Falkner. “Looking back, I don’t know if that was realistic or not.

“But it was something that passed our minds. I don’t have the words to describe how grateful I am to be home.”

Click to play video 'Elderly Kingston couple stranded in Spain, trapped because of COVID-19 lockdown' Elderly Kingston couple stranded in Spain, trapped because of COVID-19 lockdown
Elderly Kingston couple stranded in Spain, trapped because of COVID-19 lockdown – Mar 18, 2020

Now,  Falkner says she will have a nurse practitioner come in several times a week to their home, to check her incision and the physiotherapy she will need, after breaking her hip and surgery in Spain.

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Monday was their first day of 14 to be spent self-isolating.