Couple married 73 years said ‘I love you,’ then held hands as they died of coronavirus
A couple married for 73 years were able to say ‘I love you’ and hold hands with one another as they both died of coronavirus. Mary Kepler, 93, and husband Wilford, 94, died At Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Saturday after staff there pushed their beds together.
Wilford succumbed to Covid-19 six hours before Mary, with the double-diagnoses enabling the soulmates to spend their final hours together. Granddaughter Natalie Lameka said knowing the couple had been spared a lonely death in isolation had brought some comfort to her grieving family. She told WTMJ: ‘They had been holding hands and that was just heartbreaking to hear but also heartwarming to hear.
And we were just so thankful they were together and were aware they were together. It was definitely hard. But it was bittersweet.’ Natalie and her brother Spencer were able to take turns spending time with their grandparents in their room during their final days. The family does not know how Mary and Wilford contracted the killer virus, which has infected more than a million Americans and killed close to 60,000.
Natalie and her family are still working on funeral plans for Mary and Wilford, with social distancing rules making small service followed by a larger memorial at a later date a likely option. Hospital staff are so concerned about the highly-contagious virus spreading that seriously-ill coronavirus sufferers are kept in special isolation wards. Tens of thousands of families across the United States have been forced to say goodbye to loved ones on video or phone calls after being banned from direct contact with relatives to try and stem the infection rate.