An elderly couple who met aged 17 died side-by-side within hours of each other at the grand old age of 93.
The real-life ‘Notebook‘ couple, Maire and Gerry Ryan were born in Tipperary, one day apart and went on to spend the next eight-decades together.
Towards the end, the couple had their beds wheeled together in order to hold hands.
Their story has been compared to the film The Notebook, starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a couple who embark on a tumultuous relationship over a series of decades which comes to an end when McAdams’ character develops dementia.
Maire herself was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s before she died, reports RSVP Live.
The couple passed away peacefully on Monday, (February 19), surrounded by hospital staff at the Curragh Lawn Nursing Home in Co Kildare.
Staff worker Sarrita said:
Gerry used to hold her hand all the time and remind her about the olden times and their life. He used to orientate her to the present every single day.
He would sit and tell her poems, he loved Irish poetry and he used to sing to her at night. I have never seen anything like that.
I’ve been in the nursing home 13 years and we never saw anything like them. He was so dedicated to her.
Maire and Gerry married nine years after meeting and following his departutre from the military, Gerry went on to gain a PhD with the help of his wife.
After many successful years at Holy Family Secondary School as a popular teacher, Maire was struck down by a severe form of Alzheimer’s.
Gerry would become her full-time carer for many years before falling ill himself of crippling arthritis. It robbed him of his ability to walk.
They both went to Curragh Lawn Nursing Home and two weeks ago, Gerry’s health took a turn for the worse, with staff transferring him to hospital.
Maire struggled without him being there, but eventually, Gerry was sent back to the care home.
He asked, one day before he died, if he could be moved next to his wife so he could hold her hand one last time.
Maire passed away at 3:45am. Gerry followed at 5.20pm.