A North Carolina couple passed away moments apart from the coronavirus as they held on to each other’s hand.
Johnny Lee Peoples, 67, and his wife Cathy Darlene Peoples, 65, both died from the virus after a month-long battle with the infection on Sept. 2 at a Salsbury hospital, People reported.
As their time came to an end, the staff at the Novant Health Rowan Regional Medical Center moved the couple into the same room so they could comfort each other with one last goodbye, their son, Shane Peoples, told WBTV.
“Everything just went south, everything just got worse,” he said. “The next day they put them in the same room, same ICU room, they put their hands together, the nurses gathered around and they passed within four minutes of each other.”
The couple had been together for 50 years and married for 48. Shane is now left to grapple with the loss of both parents at once. Their funeral was held Wednesday outside with attendees observing social distancing guidelines.
“It was mainly the fever and loss of taste,” Peoples said, explaining his parents’ early symptoms. “My dad started showing symptoms two days later. About two weeks later they were both put in the ICU.”
Shane reportedly penned a heartfelt Facebook post earlier in the week, writing, “My parents weren’t just a blessing for me, my brother, my sister, our spouses, and our children. They were a blessing to every person that met them. My mom had the most beautiful soul of anyone you could have met.”
He stressed to WBTV that the virus must be taken seriously and urged readers on Facebook to wash their hands, practice social distancing and wear a mask.
“It’s not a joke. It’s not a hoax,” Peoples said. “I just don’t [want] anyone else to get hurt. I don’t [want] anyone to feel the grief that we’re feeling.”