Couple hold hands as they die of coronavirus within four minutes of each other

A loving couple who had been married for over 48 years died within moments of each other after catching coronavirus.

Johnny Lee Peoples, 67, and his wife, Cathy Darlene Peoples, 65, were holding hands in their last moments at the Novant Health Rowan Regional Medical Centre in Salisbury, North Carolina.

They both contracted Covid-19 at roughly the same time, about a month ago.

Shane Peoples, their son, told WBTV that they had initially been suffering the classic Covid symptoms: "It was mainly the fever and loss of taste.

"About two weeks later they were both put in the ICU. Everything just went south, everything just got worse."

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As Johnny and Cathy’s conditions deteriorated, hospital staff moved them into the same room so they could comfort each other in their final moments.

“They put them in the same room, same ICU room,” Shane said. “They put their hands together, the nurses gathered around and they passed within four minutes of each other."

He added that conspiracy theories about the virus would end up costing more lives: “It’s not a joke. It’s not a hoax," he said. "I just don’t anyone else to get hurt. I don’t anyone to feel the grief that we’re feeling.”

Shane went on to post a loving tribute to his parents on Facebook.

It read: "We were cheated. The lives of Mum and Dad were stolen by a virus that many joke about on a daily basis or just straight out believe it’s a hoax of some sort. Both of them took this pandemic seriously and still got sick, still died…

"I told myself when I started this, I would not do so in anger, but for the love they inspired me to give.

"They both loved their family very much and did anything and everything they could possibly do for them. Their love for family was greatest when it came to their grandchildren, nine of them in total. They wanted the best for their grandchildren, they would go out of their way just to make each one of them feel special. I had some pretty darn awesome parents.

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"I miss them so very much. I’m not sure how I’m going to deal without being about to talk to them every night on my ride home from work or not being able to send them pictures and videos of my family.

"I’ll never be able to hug them, again. I’ll never hear Mum sing happy birthday to anyone, again. I’ll never see them smile when they see [their grandchildren] Liam and Ava come in the room.

"They won’t get to see their grandchildren grow up, or see many of their grandchildren graduate.

"I just wish everyone could see them through my eyes. You would see the two most loving and caring couple, ever. Without them, this world just got a bit more gloomy.”

At last count there had been 182,934 confirmed cases of coronavirus in North Carolina, 8,086 of them recorded in the past seven days. Just over 3,000 people have died. These figures make it the ninth worst-affected state in the US.

There have been almost 6,500,00 confirmed cases recorded in the US as a whole, with fatalities approaching 200,000.

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