After 72 years of marriage, they had only an hour’s separation between them in their passing, yet their locked hands never let go.
The family of the Iowa couple say their life together was a real-life love story, never separated, even after their tragic car accident which sent them both to the hospital.
‘They believed in marriage,’ Dennis Yeager, the youngest son of Gordon Yeager, 94, and wife Norma, 90, told MailOnline. ‘They chose each other and once they had committed, that was it.’
Dennis said that his father would continuously say, ‘I have to stick around. I can’t go until she does because I have to stay here for her and she would say the same thing.’
While making a trip into town, the car Gordon Yeager was driving mistakenly pulled out in front of another.
A police report said the oncoming driver tried to avoid the collision, but it wasn’t able to stop in time.
Rushing to the hospital, Dennis said he found his parents sharing a unit in the intensive care unit. Never separated and holding hands they lay, though ‘not really responsive,’ he said.
That afternoon at 3:38pm, Gordon passed away, with his wife and family beside him. The anomaly began though for the family, when Gordon’s heart monitor kept beeping.
‘It was really strange. They were holding hands, and dad stopped breathing but I couldn’t figure out what was going on because the heart monitor was still going,’ Dennis recalled.
‘But we were like, he isn’t breathing. How does he still have a heart beat?’
Dennis asked a nurse who checked, pointing out the couple’s hands which were still locked together.
‘Her heart was beating through him and picking it up,’ Dennis said the nurse explained.
Exactly one hour later though, at 4:48pm, Norma died too.
‘Neither one of them would’ve wanted to be without each other. I couldn’t figure out how it was going to work,’ said daughter Donna Sheets on what life would have been like for the other if only one had survived. ‘We were very blessed, honestly, that they went this way.’
Dennis said: ‘I don’t believe there was a big secret to their marriage. Sometimes one or the other would get mad but they worked everything out.
‘In the end, they chose each other and that was it. They were committed.’
love is a powerful thing.