'Soulmates' die of Covid 'seconds apart' while holding hands

A married couple of 44 years have both died from coronavirus while holding hands on their deathbed.

Bill Stewart, 73, and his 69-year-old wife, Carol, from the US state of New Hampshire, both died from coronavirus at the end of last year, according to a GoFundMe page started by their family.

Their daughter, Melissa Noke, told WMUR the pair were “the true definition of soulmates”.

She told the station of their last few moments alive before they passed away.

"Placed both beds side-by-side, placing my mother's hand into my father's hand," Ms Noke said.

"As soon as they touched hands, my father took his last breath and then my mother 10 seconds later."

Bill Stewart, 73, and his wife Carol, 69, are seen holding hands in a hospital bed.
Bill Stewart, 73, and his wife Carol, 69, hold hands before dying of Covid-19. They were married more than 40 years. Source: GoFundMe

She added both her parents were unvaccinated and encouraged people to get the jab.

Their obituaries on Douglas & Johnson Funeral Home’s website called their love story “incredible”.

“They met at four years old and reunited later in life and shared 44 wonderful years together,” the page reads.

They had four daughters and seven grandchildren.

Bill Stewart, 73, and his wife Carol, 69, are pictured.
The couple were called 'soulmates'. Source: Douglas & Johnson Funeral Home

US infections continue to climb

The US recorded more than 717,000 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday (local time), according to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC).

Omicron is currently the culprit in more than 90 per cent of US cases, a dizzying rise from less than 10 per cent two weeks ago.

“The sheer volume of infections because of its profound transmissibility will mean that many more children will get infected,” top US health official Dr Anthony Fauci said on Wednesday at a White House briefing.

Covid cases in US children and teens nearly doubled in the last two weeks of December, totalling nearly 326,000 in the final week alone, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

The omicron-fuelled surge has also put children in the hospital in record numbers: During the week of December 27, 2021, to January 2, 2022, an average of 672 children 17 and under were admitted per day to hospitals with the coronavirus — more than double the number from the previous week. But children still represent a small percentage of those being hospitalised.

Dr Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease doctor, said surrounding children with vaccinated adults was one way to keep them from contracting the virus.

Health officials also reiterate that face masks prevent transmissions, and putting them on children aged two and older in public and group settings can help keep them safe.

with The Associated Press

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