Elderly Couple Die Side By Side On Same Day After 77 Years Together

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An elderly couple who died on the same day shared their last moments together after hospital staff moved their beds side-by-side so they could hold hands one last time.

Joyce, 97, and Frank Dodd, 96, who had been devoted to each other for 77 years, clasped hands during their final moments at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent. 

The couple lay in separate wards but nurses decided to move their beds together so they could enjoy one another's company.

The couple, from Gravesend in Kent, fell in love when they were teenagers and were married for nearly eight decades.

They had met when they were just 14  when Joyce was a waitress and Frank worked as a sawyer at a timber yard. They went on to have five children, 12 grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Mr. Dodd, who had heart failure, spent five weeks in a nursing home before going into hospital and his devoted wife visited him every day until she became ill.

The couple died on April 8, Mr. Dodd at 4am and his wife at 6pm - just days after their wedding anniversary. As the couple from nearby Gravesend lay side-by-side, they held hands for the last time.

Mr. and Mrs. Dodd'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.'

In a statement prepared for their joint funeral, the family said: ‘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.’

Ms. Bonell said: '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.'

She added that her mother loved organizing games for the children and threw frequent fancy dress parties, which her father always avoided dressing up for.

She said: 'My parents were like chalk and cheese'.

After they retired, Mr. Dodd continued to enjoy gardening and refused to let age slow him down.

His daughter recalled finding her dad up a ladder, painting a drain pipe, at the age of 94.

Mrs. Dodd, who loved baking, always had a homemade cake for visitors and never went to a party without a quiche, her children said.

The pair will be laid to rest at Gravesend Crematorium on May 15. 

Source:

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