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Couple’s Final Moments: Held Hands Until Last Breath

By Orgesta Tolaj


12 October 2023

Tennesse couple's final moments holding hands


If you are someone that easily cried in movies such as “The Notebook” or “The Grave of the Fireflies”, I would kindly ask you to sit this one out. Not only is this news a total tear-jerker, but it is also a real story that can happen to almost anyone in the world. This is the story of the Tennesse couple’s final moments. What makes it so special, is what this couple did together until their very last breath. Let’s find out what happened!

What Happened at VUMC?

An elderly couple from Tennessee, married for 69 years, shared a touching moment as they neared the end of their lives. Virginia and Tommy Stevens, both 91, displayed their deep love for each other at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Tommy, who had Alzheimer’s disease, was initially receiving care at their assisted living facility but was transferred to VUMC due to health complications, including aspiration pneumonia and sepsis, which led to difficult breathing and critically low blood pressure. Despite their challenging circumstances, the couple found comfort in holding hands during their final moments together.

Tennesse Couple’s Final Moments

The same morning Tommy was admitted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), his wife had a serious fall, resulting in six broken ribs, a spinal fracture, and a hip injury. After some time, hospital staff allowed the couple to be reunited in a shared room. When they first saw each other, their daughter Karen Kreager noted, “They both lit up.” Tommy, though not very communicative, was awake and aware of Virginia’s presence. They held hands continuously from that moment onward, with Virginia refusing to let go of her husband.

tennesse couple's final moments

Karen Kreager, the couple’s daughter, said: “He was awake when she came in. His eyes were open. He wasn’t communicating a lot — just in small whispers. But he knew that she was there and that she was going to be right beside him. They haven’t stopped holding hands the whole time. She won’t let go of him.”

What the Medical Team Had to Say

Mohana Karlekar, MD, medical director of VUMC’s adult Palliative Care Program, said: “I watched Mrs. Stevens tease her grandson, and her grandson and granddaughter in turn tease her back, feed her yogurt and drinks, and just rejoice in each other’s company. It did not take a whole lot of work on our part. It is a reminder to me about how each of us should remember that taking just a little time can be so impactful and that we should do this more often.”

The pair had the opportunity to reflect on their life experiences, which included discussing their vacations and festive family gatherings. As per information from local sources, Tommy passed away on September 8, and Virginia, who had been discharged from the hospital, followed him in death several days later, on September 17.

Well, that was an emotional roller-coaster ride! This couple is definitely a relationship goal, and it is safe to say that most of us want to spend a whole lifetime with someone as amazing as either of the two. Wouldn’t you agree?

You might also want to read: Live Worm Was Found Inside This Woman’s Brain

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!