An elderly couple have died within hours of each other, after hospital staff moved their beds so they could hold hands one last time.
Joyce and Frank Dodd, 97 and 96 respectively, were both being treated at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent, but their beds were on different wards. The couple, who had been married for an outstanding 77 years, were moved by hospital staff so they could spend their last moments together.
After seeing each other once again, Frank, who had heart failure, passed away at 4am on April 8, followed just hours later by Joyce, who died at 6pm the same day – just days after their wedding anniversary.
The couple’s daughter, Angela Bonell, 75, said:
The staff were excellent. They had mum upstairs and dad downstairs and they asked us if we would like them to bring their beds together.
They brought dad upstairs so they could lay and hold hands. The staff on Redwood ward went above and beyond anything we could have hoped for, it was really special.
Joyce and Frank enjoyed 77 happy years of marriage and in later years, as their health declined, they still looked after each other and were together until the very end. My parents were like chalk and cheese.
Joyce and Frank met at just 14, were married by 19 and went on to have five children and twelve grandchildren in their hometown of Gravesend in Kent.
The pair, who were devoted to each other until the very end, will be laid to rest at Gravesend Crematorium on May 15.