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A love story that even COVID-19 couldn’t end

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RIPLEY, WV (WOWK) – Right now, more than 135,000 people have died in the United States from COVID-19, leaving loved ones grieving; including a family from the Mountain State.

“My grandma was a firecracker. He would just say, ‘Oh Phoebe just stop,’” Sara Drennen told 13 New Reporter Cassidy Wood, as she remembers both her grandparents.

Delmer and Phoebe Fields were married at 16 and 17 years old. This couple raised seven children and a lot of grandchildren.

They had an eternal love, and 65 years of marriage.

Then a few months ago, both Delmer and Phoebe were staying in a nursing home in Jackson County.

“I would go in a couple times a week to go visit my grandparents and bring them snacks and things like that … and I was worried,” Drennen said.

 Phoebe was at the nursing home for long term care – Delmer was only there for a short rehab.

Doing better, Delmer was discharged and sent home, but only lasted a single night at home before one of the daughters had to call 9-1-1.

“She called an ambulance to come get him and take him to the hospital,” Drennen said. “And he tested positive for the virus.”

Phoebe, back at the nursing home, also started doing poorly.

“They called my sister and said my mom was having a stroke, so they transferred her,” said Melissa Fields Rogers, one of the daughters.

Phoebe was transferred to Charleston General. Where doctors found she, too, had COVID-19.

Delmer was in Jackson County and Phoebe was in Charleston.

But even apart, they were together.

“Jackson General helped him call her,” Drennen said. “And he told her he loved her, but she wasn’t able to talk. Right after that, she passed away. Then we got a call the very next morning he passed away. But he didn’t even know she was sick or anything.”

“We knew in our hearts they were waiting to hear from one another,” Rogers said. “And we just knew they had to be together always.”

Neither Delmer or Phoebe ever knew the other had COVID-19.

“It makes me mad that it was COVID,” Bonnie Little, the oldest sister, said. “People should take it seriously because it’s a real thing. It took both my parents within 12 hours of each other and yes it makes me angry when they take it so lightly, you know what I mean?”

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