Couple hospitalized for coronavirus celebrate 65th anniversary

Love in the time of COVID-19.

An Alabama couple rang in their milestone 65th wedding anniversary on Thursday, despite both being hospitalized during the coronavirus pandemic. Luckily, they didn’t have to remain six feet apart for their special day.

Ollie Herbert Edwards, 87, and his 83-year-old wife, Virginia Mitchell Edwards, enjoyed a special lunch date, complete with chocolate cake, to honour their big day.

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Their servers, a nurse and an EMT with the East Alabama Medical Centre (EAMC), were dressed in full protective gear to help them celebrate.

The hospital shared a set of heartwarming photos of the couple. In the snapshots, their hospital room is outfitted with heart-shaped balloons and a “Happy Anniversary” sign. Their nurse presented them with a bouquet of roses, too.

Colonel Ollie Herbert Edwards and his wife, Virginia Mitchell Edwards, had a special lunch date today, complete with…

Posted by East Alabama Medical Center on Thursday, June 18, 2020

While they were previously in separate hospital rooms, nurses allowed Virginia Edwards to move into her husband’s room for the special occasion.

Their anniversary also marked the first time the couple had seen each other since June 5 when Virginia was admitted to the hospital, a statement released by EAMC says.

“The Edwards family believe Virginia contracted COVID-19 when she was out of town recently,” the page reads. “Virginia was still asymptomatic when she returned home. By the time she began showing symptoms, Ollie had contracted the virus. He joined her as a patient at EAMC on June 14.”

All three of their children — Sherry, Gary and Candy — joined in on the festivities through FaceTime.

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“It was breaking my mom’s heart,” Sherry Edwards told WRBL-TV. “They could not be together because they are down the floor from one another, but the hospital made it happen.”

“I could tell my mom was so touched with by what they did,” she continued. “My mom looked so nice. The staff had helped her brush her hair and get ready.”

Ollie and Virginia Edwards got married less than a month after she graduated high school. By that time, Ollie Edwards was already a lieutenant in the Air Force and their honeymoon, the centre says, was a drive to Little Rock, Arkansas, where Ollie Edwards was based.

On their wedding night, they stopped at a diner for hamburgers and milkshakes.

“The Edwards both have COVID-19, but they also have 65 years of resiliency at their back. They’ve seen a lot over six-plus decades,” the release says.

“The COVID-19 pandemic tried to keep them apart today, but it failed.

“It only crashed their party and brought them closer.”

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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