There’s no story out there more bittersweet than this one in the age of COVID-19. Curtis and Betty Tarpley were high school sweethearts who had been married for 53 years. They both were diagnosed with coronavirus at the same time in June and died together while still holding hands. Betty was admitted to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, TX first. Curtis followed.
“My mom called me and said, ‘Hey, I want to let you know I’m ready to go.’ And I yelled and screamed,” says their son, Tim Tarpley. Then his dad called. “He said, ‘How’s your mom?’ I said, ‘Well, she’s not good. She may not make it past tomorrow.’ It was like at that moment, knowing that my mom was then gonna go, it was OK for him to go.”
Curtis and Betty die together while holding hands, proving their undying love
Tarpley is able to report that nurses he had never met were able to still make their final days and moments comfortable and fulfilling. However, there was one nurse that he only knows as Blake, who really went above and beyond. “He [Blake] really went out of his way to get my mom moved from her room to his room, and then, he just placed their hands near each other. Next thing we know, they grabbed each other’s hand, and that’s how they went,” he says.
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A sad yet beautiful story of persisting love
Tarpley says he can never thank the healthcare staff enough for what they do for his parents in their final moments. It’s truly a sad yet beautiful moment to see these sweethearts go together.
Coronavirus is still ongoing through the U.S. with some states reporting huge daily increases in infections. States such as Texas and Florida have regressed on their re-openings, choosing to close down bars again and limit restaurant occupancy.