A couple married for 64 years spent their final few moments together clutching each other’s hands tightly before dying minutes apart in neighbouring hospital beds.
Dolores Winstead, 83, and husband Trent Winstead, 88, from Tennessee died in Nashville’s Saint Thomas West Hospital – five weeks short of their 64th wedding anniversary.
Only days earlier Dolores had been completely healthy when Trent was admitted over his failing kidneys.
With their children Eddie and Sheryl, she watched over him as his condition worsened and he was moved to intensive care.
Then on December 7 Dolores suddenly began to complain of a headache and was taken ill.
It later transpired she had suffered a severe brain aneurysm – and needed to be connected to a ventilator as – in tandem with her husband – her condition began to deteriorate.
Hospital staff worked to get them placed in the same room – and the couple were pictured holding hands next to each other.
Dolores died first, with Trent blowing her a kiss when he was told she had passed before then dying himself a few hours later.
“Because she was gone, he just could not handle it. We just watched him die.
“I hadn’t thought about it this way at the time. (He) literally, he died of a broken heart.
“Never in a million years did I think I was going to come out of the hospital with neither one.”
As well as having two children, the couple had three grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren
They originally met in the 1950s in Dickson County, Tennessee – marrying after Trent returned from fighting in the Korean War during which they exchanged love letters.
It would have been their 64th wedding anniversary on January 17.
The couple were buried side-by-side this week – Dolores in a pink coffin and Trent in a blue one.
The song ‘Love Remains’ by Hillary Scott was played at their funeral.
Its lyrics say: “A boy moves on, takes a bride. And she stands faithful, by his side.”