After being married for 47 years, this couple died of COVID-19 within the same minute

Usually when we share a story of a couple having been married for nearly five decades, it's a sweet story of lasting love. Usually when we share a story of a long-time married couple dying within minutes of each other, it's a touching story of not wanting to part from one another at the end of their lives.

The story of Patricia and Leslie "LD" McWaters dying together might have both of those elements, but it is also tragic because they died of a preventable disease in a pandemic that hasn't been handled well. The Michigan couple, who had been married for 47 years, both died of COVID-19 complications on November 24th. Since they died less than a minute apart, their deaths were recorded with the exact same time—4:23pm.

Patricia, who was 78 at her passing, had made her career as a nurse. LD, who would have turned 76 next month, had been a truck driver. Patricia was "no nonsense" while LD was "fun-loving," and the couple did almost everything together, according to their joint obituary.


Coronavirus Kills Husband & Wife One Minute Apart - NBC www.youtube.com

Reading a bit about their life is a reminder of the human toll of this virus.

"Summers they hosted family pool parties, where Pat made way too much food. They loved driving their '59 Corvette to car shows to meet up with family and friends. We always ended the summer with the annual family canoe trip, in Evart, Michigan. Pat and LD loved going to watch Maxx and Mia race quarter midgets and rarely missed a race. They also enjoyed going up north to watch their grandson, Keaton, play basketball and baseball. Every Tuesday, Pat and LD babysat their great-granddaughter, Arbor and she brought the youth out in them. They attended all their nieces and nephews sporting events. Pat and LD loved to play cards and Mexican Trains with just about anyone who would play. Family game night was something they always looked forward too. Every Saturday was a Hickley's Day that started with their granddaughter, Chelsea and carried on through their great-grandkids."

The McWaters' daughter, Joanna Sisk, did see some sweetness in the tragedy of her parents' passing, based on the couple's relationship in life.

"It's beautiful, but it's so tragic. Kind of like Romeo and Juliet," she told NBC affiliate WDIV. "One wouldn't have wanted to be without the other."

"I can tell you this, when they passed we think Mom—the boss--she definitely went to his room and said, 'Come on. Let's go,'" Sisk said.

Sisk said that hearing people brush off the risks of the virus has been painful as she and her family grapple with such a terrible loss.

"People were talking about it not knowing my parents in the hospital fighting for their lives and I just had tears streaming down my cheeks listening to them," Sisk said. "Our entire family is completely devastated."

"It's tough enough to lose one parent, but this was the worst," she said.

As the coronavirus careens through the country at a pace we haven't seen since the outbreak began, it's more important than ever to be vigilant in distancing and staying home as much as possible, wearing masks in public, and washing hands frequently. While there is an end in sight with promising vaccine trial results, we still have months to go before enough doses will roll out to make a difference.

The McWaters passed away two days before Thanksgiving, forever altering that family's holiday. We are already anticipating thousands of families' December holidays being similarly impacted by losing loved ones to COVID-19. Please follow the advice of public health professionals to keep those numbers as low as we can going into the new year. We've already lost too much to this pandemic.

Rest in peace, Mr. and Mrs. McWaters.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.