After almost seventy years of marriage, one married couple remained together even during their last moments. Thanks to dedicated staff, the elderly couple spent their final moments in the hospital hand in hand. Tommy Stevens, 91, passed away at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was being treated for pneumonia and sepsis. His wife, Virginia, was admitted to the same hospital on the same day due to a serious fall. She passed away nine days after her husband, also at the age of 91, People tells us.
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At first, the elderly couple was separated due to the difference in their care. While Tommy was taken to the Palliative Care Unit, Virginia was taken to the Trauma ICU. However, hospital staff later moved the two patients into the same room with beds right next to each other. This change was prompted by compassion for the couple’s family, who were struggling to divide their time between the two patients in different areas of the medical facility.
Their daughter, Karen Kreager, couldn’t have been more grateful for the staff’s thoughtful decision. She says that Tommy and Virginia “both lit up” when they were brought together, adding that they spent their last moments reminiscing and holding hands.
“He was awake when she came in,” said Karen, according to VUMC Voice. “His eyes were open. He wasn’t communicating a lot — just in small whispers. But he knew that she was there and that she was going to be right beside him.”
She also joked that her mom, who was generally in excellent health before her trip to the hospital, must have really wanted to be with her husband.
“Really, we think that you just needed to check on Dad, and that was your ride,” Karen said.
Virginia’s obituary tells us that she and Tommy met in high school, married, and worked together at their own transportation company, Distribution and Transportation Services, Inc. (DTS). Over the years, they were blessed with two children, several grandchildren, and even a great-grandchild! We’re sure they will be sorely missed by their surviving family.
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