Devoted Husband Dies Of Coronavirus After Visiting Wife On Her Deathbed
Sam Reck, 90, had been to see his wife of 30 years, JoAnn, 86, at Florida's Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, adamant that he wanted to visit her one last time before she passed away.
After JoAnn first fell ill with coronavirus, doctors warned Sam against saying farewell to her in person, as he could become fatally ill as a result.
But a determined Sam ignored medics' fears, and was said to have no regrets as he spent some final moments with her before her death on 12 July.
Before Sam died on 1 August, he told family he didn't regret the visit, and was 'very happy' he had been able to say goodbye.
The two had been dubbed the 'Romeo and Juliet' of their nursing home in Lakeland, where strict coronavirus measures threatened to keep them apart - with the pair having to resort to socially-distanced visits.
Scott Hooper, JoAnn's son from her first marriage, paid tribute to the couple on Facebook, writing: "Today we lost Sam to the same affliction as our mother three weeks earlier, Covid-19. It felt strange to return to the exact room I last saw my mother, now with Sam going through the same struggle to breathe.
"He was with us in this room when we all said goodbye to my mom. He was very much a broken man seeing her suffer.
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"After Sam tested positive for Covid, I asked him if he regretted his visit to the hospital. Without pause he replied, 'Not one second.'
"He said no matter what happens, he was very happy he had the opportunity to say goodbye and hold her hand one more time."
Scott explained how his mother had suffered with dementia recently, and how Sam had 'helped her get through her daily struggle'.
"She was moved into a skilled nursing floor," Scott said.
"He would drive his scooter every morning and stay with her all day until he kissed her goodnight and went back to his room."
He added: "Thank you Sam, for everything you have done for our family, and for loving my mother. We all love you. I know you are now back with my mom playing bluegrass music together."
Featured Image Credit: Scott Hooper via TMX.news