Health Care

Texas couple dies from coronavirus while holding hands, family says: ‘Off to a better place’

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An elderly couple in Texas reportedly died last week only 50 minutes apart from one other, while holding hands at a Fort Worth hospital, as each of them succumbed to complications from the novel coronavirus.

Curtis Tarpley, 79 and his wife Betty, 80, passed away at the Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, according to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. They’d been married for 53 years and had two children, Tim and Tricia.

Both Tim and Tricia said they knew their parents were ready to depart in the days leading up to their deaths. Each had underlying health conditions that did not improve during their time in treatment, and they were both mentally prepared for the end.

“My mother always said she didn’t want to live to be 100 and she very much believed this world was temporary, and it was a stop on going off to a better place,” Tricia explained. “She knew something better was coming and she was fine with that.”


Courtesy Tim Tarpley

Courtesy Tim Tarpley

Courtesy Tim Tarpley

Courtesy Tim Tarpley

After the couple’s health took a turn for the worse, hospital staff moved them into the same room so they could be together, The Star-Telegram reported.

Their bodies will be donated to the University of North Texas Health Science Center to be studied, Tricia added.

This news comes after the state experienced a recent surge in COVID-19 cases following a phased reopening.

Gov. Greg Abbott ordered all bars in the state to close for the second time on Friday, as Texas struggled with a record resurgence in coronavirus cases.


In addition to bar closures, Abbott said restaurants will be required to return to 50 percent capacity and that local governments will be given more authority to regulate gatherings of more than 100 people.

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