Cal and Linda Dunham did everything together, right until the very end.
The Grand Rapids, Mich., couple died of COVID-19 within a minute of each other, while holding hands.
Linda Dunham was 66 and Cal Dunham was 59, according to The Independent.
Though fully vaccinated, each had underlying health conditions that could have made them more susceptible to a breakthrough infection, their daughter, Sarah Dunham, told WXMI-TV after their deaths on Sunday.
“The love that they found together after a previous marriage is fantastic,” Sarah Dunham told the Fox affiliate. “They were the people that you just looked at and you were like, ‘I want to be old like that, I want that love when I’m that age.’ ”
Their lives, though not their love, started unraveling in July, when both began to feel sick during a camping trip. At first they thought it was sinusitis or a cold, Sarah Dunham told WXMI. By day three they felt ill enough to cut their sojourn short.
Within days, both the Dunhams were hospitalized and intubated, WXMI reported, their undisclosed preexisting conditions exacerbating their illness. On Sunday, the doctors told the family the two would have to be taken off life support on Monday. But “they had other plans,” Sarah Dunham said.
The two were wheeled into the same room on Sunday, and moments later, Cal Dunham died at 11:07 a.m. Linda Dunham followed less than a minute later, dying at 11:08.
It went down exactly as Linda Dunham had always said it would, their daughter told WXMI.
“She always joked and said, ‘Well, you’re going to go before I am, I’ll be right there behind you, I promise,’ ” Sarah Dunham said. “And she really was, like she really was right there behind him.”
It’s cases like the Dunhams’ that are spurring the push for booster shots in people with underlying conditions that contribute to a drop in immunity even if they’re fully vaccinated. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday recommended a third Pfizer shot for people aged 50-64 years with underlying medical conditions six months after their first two, as well as anyone aged 65 and up.