A 30 year Texan married couple were hospitalized with COVID-19 while holding hands as they both died on Sunday, December 13th their family says, which includes their two sons Shawn and Brandon Blackwell.
Paul Blackwell, 62, and Rose Mary Blackwell, 65, were in the intensive care unit for two weeks and several days on ventilators at Harris Methodist Hospital, shared by their youngest son Shawn with CNN.
The couple were long time educators of Grand Prairie Independent School District according to NBC News.
The Blackwells contracted the virus a week before Thanksgiving. Shawn told USA Today, by having Covid-19 “It really took a toll on them pretty quickly”. After showing signs of having symptoms of Covid.
Shawn continues to describe the painful time period of what he saw from his parents during the last weeks of their life. His mom was having shortness of breath at night and was not sleeping while the father laid on the couch for four days straight. This caused the couple to miss Thanksgiving Dinner with their children for the first time.
“There’s not been one Thanksgiving we’ve never spent together,” said Brandon Blackwell, their oldest son.
On Black Friday, the couple was admitted to the hospital, where they spent the next few weeks fighting for their lives.
The sons were not able to see their parents physically which made “it hard for them to be in the hospital” said Shawn. All they could do was see them through video chat and watched their father broke down on one of the calls, telling his own sons he was not going to make it.
Even though, “Their spirits were not too high during their hospital stay,” said Brandon. He continues on to say “But just us being there, I know, gave them some type of comfort. I was just glad they were able to see our faces.”
The smallest comfort you can give to anyone is being there for them during their difficult time.
Shortly after the video calls the Blackwell couple was shortly transferred into the intensive care unit of the hospital.
“My little brother Shawn got to speak with my mom right before she got intubated and I was able to speak with my dad right before he got intubated, so it was crazy how that worked out,” said Brandon to USA Today.
After being incubated, the next time the sons would see their parents would be on their deathbeds because they made the decision to discontinue their life which was the hardest decision the children made.
After seeing their parents, they both saw their parents embracing each other one last time.
The Blackwells were long time educators in their community and the Grand Prairie Independent School District said in a statement to NBC News that, “Rosemary and Paul will be greatly missed by many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their family, friends, co-workers, and students both current and former”.
The couple were due to retire this year after saying no to their family for so long, but now they get to rest peacefully. There is an online fundraiser to help the Blackwell family during this difficult time.