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Couple married 53 years die from COVID-19 in the same room within an hour of each other

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Tim Tarpley recalls the painful conversation he had with his mom when she told him she was ready to go, her body was tired.

“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!’”

Tim’s mom was diagnosed with COVID-19 at 80 years old. She initially thought it was a sinus infection but after suffering for ten days she made an appointment with her dentist, believing it might be a tooth issue.

But then the confusion set in and she wrecked her car on the mile and a half journey home and then the next day couldn’t check her blood sugar, something she had done every day for the last 20 years.

Tim took his mom Betty to the local hospital where she tested positive for COVID-19.

Betty had underlying health conditions and his father Curtis, who was 79, had more serious underlying health conditions.

“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,” he said, as per ABC News.

Just a few days later his dad also tested positive for the virus and was admitted to hospital.

Tarpley family/ABC News

As Betty started to deteriorate, she called her son and gave him the painful news that she was ready to go. Hospital staff allowed Tim and his sister one final visit to say goodbye.

“We were all saying our goodbyes and mom said, ‘OK, see you tomorrow.’”

Tim choked back tears adding: “She knows there’s not a tomorrow.”

Nurses wheeled Curtis’ bed into the same room as Betty and after 53 years of marriage they both died within hours of each other in the same room.

Tarpley family/ABC News

Tim is in isolation now after testing positive for COVID-19, but through his grief and poor health he paid tribute to the hospital staff who looked after his parents.

“They’re just these little angels with eyes. You don’t even get to see their face,” he said – referring to the layers of PPE they have to wear.

Takes over your body one cell at a time

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

Tim worries people have become complacent about the virus.

“Be more aware of what you’re actually doing,” he said. “And it’s obvious we should wear a mask. If you don’t want to infect somebody or you don’t want to be infected, you should wear a mask.”

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Our thoughts go out to Tim at this very difficult time. Rest in peace Betty and Curtis.

Please share this story and help warn others not to be complacent, stay safe out there and do all you can to protect yourself and others.

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