AN elderly Gourock couple have enjoyed an emotional reunion with their family after being stranded in Spain for four months by the pandemic.

Pat and Rose Travers, who are both in their 80s, jetted off to their holiday flat in Benalmadena on March 6 and intended to spend around a month there.

But Covid-19 and lockdown meant they ended up stranded.

The couple celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary, Rose's 82nd birthday and Mother's Day while they were away from their loved ones.

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Their family's long wait to see them again has now finally ended after they were able to return to home soil.

Their daughter Carol Ann Tracey told the Tele: "I just wanted to hug them, then I remembered I couldn't touch them.

"I was so happy to see them, I had been worried sick.

"It had been such a long time, so I felt very emotional when I saw them."

Carol Ann, 55, who lives in Merino Road with husband Tom, and daughters Louisa, 33, and Anna, 27, said the last couple of months have been a real rollercoaster of emotions.

She said: "My main concern was for their health and wellbeing.

"Mum was a nervous wreck and wasn't sleeping.

"She tried to busy herself reading and my dad would potter about doing wee jobs.

"When Spain opened their lockdown only one person per house was allowed to go out to the shop so dad did the shopping."

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Carol Ann had to send essential medication out to the pair during their unexpected extended stay abroad, which came just after they moved into a new flat in Ashton Gate.

She said: "My mum takes a statin and my dad has a couple of issues with his heart and takes a blood thinner, so it was essential for them to get these things."

It's been a worrying time for the whole family including Carol Ann's sister Rose Mary, 53, and her brother Stewart, who had his 50th birthday when his parents were abroad.

Carol Ann said she was in touch with the Foreign Office and constantly trying to find ways of getting Pat and Rose home.

She said: "We heard of people who got a taxi to Gibraltar then on to London.

"It involved flying from Barcelona to Madrid, Heathrow and Glasgow and they would have had to spend 14 hours in different airports in areas where the infection rate is high.

"They were also flights via Amsterdam but again this involved waiting in airports.

"Flights that cost £200 one week were going up to £1,000 for the same flight the next.

"The Foreign Office said because they were elderly they were just better staying put."

Carol Ann called the pair every day and baking tins were even sent out to Spain so that Rose could make shortbread.

She said the most worrying aspect about her mum and dad's experience was the fact that the insurance company wouldn't extend their cover, even though the situation wasn't their fault.

She said: "The Foreign Office tried to reassure us that they had their European health card but I knew that if anything major happened, they wouldn't get a health based flight home.

"It's not as if they chose to stay on, it was outwith their control."

Everyone's prayers were answered at last when the couple were able to book a flight home with Ryanair in the last few days.

The couple celebrated their return with a portion of takeaway fish and chips from the Inverkip Hotel, where Carol Ann's daughter is a chef.

Carol Ann said: "I'm just so glad they are home.

"They have to isolate for 14 days so I'm doing their shopping and dropping it off."

There will be cause for more celebration next week for the family, as Pat will be celebrating his 82nd birthday on Tuesday.

Carol Ann said: "They are so happy to be back in their own safe environment."