A devoted couple who were happily married for over half-a-century spent their final hours together – holding hands.
Audrey Fleetwood, 77, had been in hospital for 23 weeks when hubbie Dennis was admitted on November 17 – her birthday.
Dennis,, 85, passed away the next day, but not before kindly nurses had moved the couple’s beds together so they could hold hands for his final hours on earth.
Audrey then died just two days later.
Their son Paul said: “They pushed mum’s bed in to dad’s room and took the middle barriers down so they could lie together.
“They they put a pillow between them so they could hold hands comfortably.
“We told him he was holding mum’s hand and it was OK, once we said that he stopped struggling and moving around and was peaceful.
“He died holding her hand.”
Hazard communication specialist Paul, 48, said before he became really sick his dad had told him he didn’t want to live without his beloved wife.
“They had a really happy marriage, bickered everyday, but were really happy.
“They were never apart.”
Mum-of-three Audrey, who had been on end of life care when Dennis was admitted. passed away two days after her husband of 54 years.
Paul, of Barnsley, South Yorks., said: “We told her about what had happened to dad but I’m not sure if she understood.
“And after dad died she just slipped away – I like to think they both went together.”
Grieving Paul praised the nurses at Barnsley District General Hospital, saying: “It was just beautiful what they did for my parents, bringing them in together and letting them hold hands.”
Grandmother-of-five Audrey, who suffered from mild dementia, had been in hospital after a gall stone operation, her health then deteriorated after she fell foul to a string of infections.
Former butcher and car dealer Dennis, who had been treated for bladder tumours in the past, had been admitted to hospital after becoming unwell – he subsequently died of aspiration pneumonia.
The couple were married in December 1968, and when they were’t working or raising their children they loved attending tea dances.
Paul said: “They did everything together and when dad was to sick to go to dances he told told mum to go with someone else and she used to say ‘I’m not bothered I don’t want to go with anyone else’.”
He said his former lollipop lady mum was a big animal lover and his dad loved gardening.
There will be a joint funeral for the pair next week.
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