A married couple in the US who did “almost everything together” for 47 years both died of Covid-19 on the same day and barely a minute apart, their family has said.
Leslie and Patricia McWaters died two days before Thanksgiving on 24 November in hospital in Jackson, Michigan.
“They did almost everything together, so it should be no surprise that they went to be with the Lord together within the very same minute,” the McWaters family said in an obituary.
Patricia McWaters, 78, was a registered nurse at the Foote Allegiance Hospital in Jackson and Leslie McWaters, 75, was a veteran of the United States Navy Reserves. The two married on 16 April, 1973 and were together for nearly five decades.
Both were admitted to hospital after contracting Covid-19, and it soon became apparent that their cases were severe, with staff telling the family the outcome was “too close to call”. When they died, their times of death were recorded as being identical – 4.23pm on Tuesday.
“It’s beautiful, but it’s so tragic. Kind of like Romeo and Juliet,” their daughter Joanna Sisk told NBC’s local affiliate channel WDIV. “One wouldn’t have wanted to be without the other.”
The family said Patricia McWaters, “definitely the boss” of the household, died a minute earlier than her husband Leslie – also known as LD to friends and family.
“Those of us that know them, know that mom went first and said, ‘LD, it’s time to go!’" the family said.
“It’s tough enough to lose one parent, but this was the worst,” said Ms Sisk, adding that the entire family is devastated.
The family said Leslie McWaters loved line-liners and the couple still liked to go dancing at a local bar, where they first met. The duo loved driving their 1959 Corvette and rarely missed their grandchildren’s own racing events.
The couple are survived by two daughters and three grandchildren.
With the US still the worst-hit country in the world in terms of confirmed coronavirus cases, Michigan was the fifth-highest state in terms of new infections in the last week, and the fourth-highest in terms of deaths.
As of Tuesday morning, the state had recorded more than 388,000 cases, and over 9,500 deaths. The state announced a Covid-19 emergency on 15 November to restrict gatherings, as cases continue to mount.