Donated travel points help reunite N.S. couple with children after 2 years

There was an emotional family reunion at the Halifax airport late Wednesday night, when a mother and father returned home to their children after being stranded abroad for nearly two years.

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Freelance political cartoonist Robert Denton and his wife, Stephanie, left Nova Scotia to work in the U.K. in 2013. But they hit a snag after just six months, when Denton's neuromuscular condition worsened after a bad infection.

He landed in hospital, and his wife was required to care for him and leave her own job.

"They would not let him out of hospital without care," she told CTV Atlantic. "So my job was over at that point."

With neither working, the two lacked the financial means to return to their home in Canada.

Liberal MP Bill Casey worked with the couple's two children to find a way to bring them back to Nova Scotia.

He said they worked with Air Canada to create a charity account for the couple, where people could donate their travel points to the cause.

"Once we announced that we had the charity open, we had the points within 24 hours," Casey said.

Late Wednesday night, the couple's children waited anxiously for their parents' flight to touch down.

"I'm just looking forward to giving them the biggest hug I think I've ever given them, because it's going to be two years overdue," Raymond Gammon, the Dentons' son said.

Daughter Margaret Collins said she hoped her waterproof mascara was working because she knew there'd be plenty of tears.

Eventually, Robert and Stephanie Denton appeared. Stephanie Denton threw down her bags and ran towards her children, with Robert Denton following behind in a wheelchair.

"I made it home," he said, as he hugged his daughter.

He later thanked those who helped bring him and his wife back to Canada. "Thank you, none of it says enough," he said.

With a report from CTV Atlantic's Ron Shaw


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