Couple married for 70 years dies from COVID-19 simply days earlier than appointment to get vaccine

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Couple married for 70 years dies from COVID-19 just days before appointment to get vaccine

Infant sweetheart children, inseparable throughout their 70-year marriage, died of COVID-19 holding hands in an Ohio hospital, their family told CNN. Dick Meek, 89, and Shirley Meek, 87, died within minutes on January 1st. At 16, at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, the family said, "They never had to go through until death do us part," said their daughter Debbie Howell. "They never had to do that because they were together and we are very grateful." The couple was due to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on January 19, their father's 90th birthday. "They were so close," said daughter Vicci Harper. The couple from Coschcoton, Ohio met in high school and have been together ever since. "You read love at first sight and you think it's not true," said the family. "Well, it was love at first sight for my father." They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on December 22nd. Parents of five children, 13 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren lived lives of passion, the family said. Her adventures ranged from traveling the world to skydiving to performing on special occasions for her grandchildren, even in old age. Most importantly, they always made time to be together and had an appointment for 3 p.m. every day to toast after their obituary. "They weren't your typical 88- and 90-year-olds," Debbie Howell told CNN. "They were both very, very healthy, very lively people in all their abilities. They just went down so quickly." The couple tested positive for COVID-19 on December 26 after developing what they thought was a cold. After several days of going up and down symptoms, they went to an emergency care facility for a COVID test and from there their health went downhill, the family told CNN. Dick was admitted to Coshocton Regional Medical Center on January 2, and Shirley followed him two days later, the family said. Both had difficulty breathing. When their condition worsened, they had to be sent to a second hospital. At the time, there was a possibility that the two could be moved to separate hospitals, but the staff helped advocate that they both be moved to Riverside Methodist Hospital. "Jan 8th through the end it just went up and down," Howell said. "There were days when we were really optimistic that they would get through, but their lungs were failing more and more every day." When the family care team told the family that their parents only had a few days left, they asked theirs about it Parents should be accommodated in the same room. "We didn't want them to be separated because that was their biggest thing in life, that they would be together," Howell said. "We wanted them to hold hands. We wanted them to be together. We wanted their favorite music to play." quietly in the background, "she told CNN. And the hospital staff made it happen. A nurse made a two-hour playlist of the couple's favorite songs and played them the last time they held hands. Shirley was the first to come by, and then Dick. "The nurse put my mother's head on my father's shoulder. And she went over and rubbed my dad's shoulder and said, 'Dick, you can go now. Shirley is waiting for you. "" Howell said. "And in minutes he was gone." The family said they were lucky their parents could walk hand in hand and thanked the hospital staff for letting them do so helped honor their love story. According to Dick and Shirley's obituary, a celebration of your life will be held this summer. "COVID has taken our lives so we ask all of you to be safe," the family said.

Infant sweetheart children, inseparable throughout their 70-year marriage, died of COVID-19 holding hands in an Ohio hospital, their family told CNN.

Dick Meek, 89, and Shirley Meek, 87, died in minutes on January 16 at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

"They never had to go through until death do us part," said her daughter Debbie Howell. "They never had to do that because they were together and we are very grateful."

The couple was due to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on January 19, their father's 90th birthday. "They were so close," said daughter Vicci Harper.

The couple from Coschcoton, Ohio met in high school and have been together ever since. "You read love at first sight and you think it's not true," said the family. "Well, it was love at first sight for my father." They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on December 22nd.

Parents of five children, 13 grandchildren, and 28 great-grandchildren lived full lives full of passion, the family said. Her adventures ranged from traveling the world to skydiving to performing on special occasions for her grandchildren, even in old age. Most importantly, they always made time to be together and had an appointment for 3 p.m. toasting each other every day after their obituary.

"They weren't your typical 88- and 90-year-olds," Debbie Howell told CNN. "They were both very, very healthy, very lively people with all their abilities. They just went down so quickly."

The couple tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 26 after developing symptoms they believed they had a cold. After several days of up and down symptoms, they went to an emergency care facility for a COVID test and from there their health went downhill, the family told CNN.

Dick was admitted to Coshocton Regional Medical Center on January 2, and Shirley followed two days later, the family said. Both had difficulty breathing.

When their condition worsened, they had to be sent to a second hospital. At the time, there was a possibility that the two could be moved to separate hospitals, but staff advocated that they both be moved to the Riverside Methodist Hospital.

"January 8th through the end it just went up and down," Howell said. "There were days when we were really optimistic that they would get through, but their lungs were failing more and more every day."

When the care team told the family that their parents only had a few days to live, they asked that their parents be placed in the same room. "We didn't want them to be separated because that was their biggest thing in life, that they would be together," Howell said.

"We wanted them to hold hands. We wanted them to be together. We wanted their favorite music to play quietly in the background," she told CNN. And the hospital staff made it possible.

A nurse made a two-hour playlist of the couple's favorite songs and played them while they held hands for the last time. Shirley was the first to pass, and then Dick.

"The nurse put my mother's head on my father's shoulder. And she went over and rubbed my father's shoulder and said," Dick, you can go now. Shirley is waiting for you, "" Howell said. "And within minutes he was gone."

The family said they were happy that their parents could walk hand in hand and thanked the hospital staff for helping them honor their love story.

According to Dick and Shirley's obituary, there will be a celebration of a lifetime this summer. "COVID took our lives so we ask all of you to be safe," said the family.

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