Couple married 44 years die of COVID-19 seconds apart
SALEM, N.H. (WMUR) - A New Hampshire couple who spent nearly half a century together ended their love story in the hospital after they both contracted COVID-19, dying within seconds of each other.
William and Carol Stewart were a close-knit couple who had been married for 44 years and had known each other since they were just children, according to their daughter, Melissa Noke.
“They were the true definition of soulmates because it’s like having love birds: You can’t just buy one. You’ve got to buy both,” Noke said.
In December, tragedy struck when the family of eight all tested positive for COVID-19. Carol Stewart spent two weeks on life support and William Stewart eight days. The latter suffered from lung, kidney and liver failure toward the end of his life.
Family members, including Noke, were unable to visit until the Stewarts’ Dec. 30 “Hero Walk” when the couple was wheeled past family and put together in a room.
“Placed both beds side by side, placing my mother’s hand into my father’s hand. As soon as they touched hands, my father took his last breath and then my mother, 10 seconds later,” Noke said. “We were relieved that they didn’t suffer any longer.”
Noke says her parents were unvaccinated. She says her message to others is to get the COVID-19 vaccine before it’s too late.
When asked what she would tell her parents right now, Noke said, “It’s an honor to be your daughter, and I love you and will see you again someday.”
The family has started a GoFundMe to help pay for funeral costs. It has raised almost $5,000.
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