The couple missed Thanksgiving with their children for the first time last year after contracting the coronavirus.
The peaceful and happy life of a beautiful couple was disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Having claimed millions of lives, the deadly virus also affected 62-year-old Paul Blackwell and his 65-year-old wife Rose Mary Blackwell, recently. Unfortunately, they did not survive the ordeal and unexpectedly passed away leaving behind just their memories.
The Blackwells were teachers at Grand Prairie Independent School District in Grand Prairie, Texas. Paul was a PE teacher and football coach at Fannin Middle school. Meanwhile, Rose Mary served as a second-grade teacher at Travis World Language Academy, where she had just reached her 20th year, reports CNN.
“These are reasons why there should & Shall be a lawsuit”— BlackRedWhiteandBlue.com (@BLACKRWBTruth2P) December 17, 2020
Married couple, both teachers, die of Covid-19 while holding hands with their children
A married couple died together from Covid-19 complications sharing one final embrace w/children.
Read in CNN: https://t.co/PrQnHg52HL
The dedicated teachers had worked up till December through the pandemic and had contracted the virus just a week before Thanksgiving. Speaking to NBC News, their son Shawn Blackwell revealed the symptoms that his parents had been experiencing.
His mother had been suffering shortness of breath at night due to which she was unable to sleep. On the other hand, his father had been lying on the couch for four days. As a result, their worsening health conditions, the couple was forced to miss Thanksgiving with their children for the first time. "There’s not been one Thanksgiving we’ve never spent together," recalled Brandon Blackwell.
Absolutely tragic.— Zainab Muzzafar زينب مظفر 🕋 .... 🇨🇦 (@ZainabForTruth) December 18, 2020
The spread would be far more contained if Covid deniers were more human.
Following the holiday, the couple was admitted to the hospital where they spent weeks fighting the toughest battle of their lives. Unfortunately, things weren't looking too good. "Doctors said they hadn't seen any progression at all, and they were slowly declining in their overall vital functions. It got to the point where it was very far gone and that there was nothing else they could do," said Shawn according to CNN.
Due to the contagious nature of the virus, the brothers weren't able to be with their parents in person initially and thus had resorted to just video calls. "Their spirits were not too high during their hospital stay," shared Brandon. "But just us being there, I know, gave them some type of comfort. I was just glad they were able to see our faces." Shortly after been transferred to the ICU, their children knew that the end was near.
Too sad. Im so sorry. They stayed together— Karen Bruning (@Karen_BruningRE) December 17, 2020
"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. "My dad wasn’t going to make it too much longer and my mom was right behind him," Shawn added. After being kept on multiple ventilators and spending several days of intensive care, doctors told the brothers that there was no chance of recovery for their parents.
With a heavy heart, Shawn and Brandon were forced to make the tough decision of taking them off life support. The only thing that comforted them was the fact that the two were going to be in a better place together. "Me and my brother came to the conclusion to let them go at peace together. They were together and holding hands. My brother and I were both holding my parent's hands as well, so all four of us were holding each other's hands as they were both removed from the ventilator," explained Shawn.
"It did give us some sense of closure that they both went together because, honestly, it would’ve been weird to have one without the other," he said according to NBC News. Sadly, the couple's two other sons could not be with their parents when they passed away. "Two of my other brothers are actually in the room there at the hospital and they wheeled my stepmother in there in the room with my father and at the same time, removed them both from the ventilator. They had them holding hands and they were both gone in a couple of minutes," shared Paul's son Christopher Blackwell, per CBS 11. "I’ve never seen anything like that before and it’s hard to even put into words seeing that."
Although it's unclear as to how the pair contracted the virus, their deaths have left close loved ones devastated. Expressing their condolences, the Grand Prairie Independent School District wrote on Facebook: Rose Mary and Paul will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their family, friends, coworkers, and students both current and former. A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help raise relief funds for the Blackwells.