Harrowing last moments of couple married for 50 years before coronavirus deaths

A couple married for 53 years died from COVID-19 within an hour of each other and spent their final moments holding hands.

Curtis Tarpley, 79, and his 80-year-old wife, Betty, died last week in a Texas hospital after brief battles with the virus.

The couple’s son Tim Tarpley told The Christian Post news outlet he had been staying with his parents during the pandemic and on June 9 he took his mother to the hospital after she thought she had a sinus infection. She tested positive for coronavirus.

Curtis and Betty Tarpley (pictured) died from the coronavirus in a Texas hospital.
Curtis Tarpley (right) and his wife Betty (left) died last week in a Texas hospital after brief battles with coronavirus. Source: Facebook

A few days later Curtis began to feel unwell and was also admitted to hospital due to other serious health conditions. His first two tests for COVID-19 returned negative results, but he eventually tested positive.

“They both kind of knew if they got this, if it was brought into the house, that my dad would not be able to survive this,” Tim told US news outlet ABC.

Although his father had more serious underlying health conditions, Betty was deteriorating faster and said goodbye to her son in a painful phone call.

“She was like, ‘I’m done. I’ve had enough. I’ve had a good life. This body is tired. I’m out.’ I’m like, ‘No!’ I mean I yelled and screamed. And I’m like, ‘It’s not time!’” he said.

Tim praised staff at the hospital who moved his parents into the same room on June 18 so they could hold hands, and allowed the family to visit and say their goodbyes.

“We were all saying our goodbyes and mum said, ‘Ok, see you tomorrow.’ And she died laughing,” Tim told ABC.

His father died 50 minutes later and Tim said he was in good spirits when he passed away.

“It’s like he just knew, ‘Ok, I can go too,’” Tim said.

Tim Tarpley is pictured left with his father, Curtis, who is pictured on the right with his wife.
Tim Tarpley with his father (left) said his parents' (pictured right) passing was 'romantic'. Source: Facebook

Tim announced his parents’ passing on Facebook and said their final moments were “romantic”.

"We lost our parents this morning and in true Tarpley fashion, they go close to the same time, holding hands," he said.

Tim is currently in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.

“I’ve seen firsthand how it affects your body, it’s designed to take over your body one cell at a time,” he told ABC.

The Tarpleys donated their bodies to science and a celebration of their life will likely be held with their local church around the year anniversary of their deaths.

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