With her 88-year-old husband Trent Winstead in the hospital suffering from sinking blood pressure and failing kidneys, 83-year-old Dolores Winstead was distraught. “I don’t know what I would do without him,” she said softly to her daughter.
Dolores and Trent had begun dating in the early 1950s — just before Trent, a future Purple-Heart veteran, left to fight in the Korean War. When Trent proposed to her, he did so while she was brushing her teeth so that she wouldn’t be able to clearly articulate a refusal.
“It sounds so simple but it was so sweet,” said their daughter, Sheryl Winstead. “They loved each other through the humdrum days. They were more and more in love every day.”
On December 6, Trent was admitted to the emergency medical room as his kidneys began to fail. Dialysis saved his life, but began to weaken his heart. Then, on the night of December 7, Dolores suffered a massive brain hemorrhage while sitting in a chair in her husband’s hospital room. Though nurses rushed to revive her, her brain activity had ceased.
For the first time in the hospital’s history, medical staff consented to place a couple in the same room, their hospital beds adjacent to each other. On December 9, after nearly 64 years together, Dolores passed away. After being told of his wife’s death, Sheryl said her father appeared to blow a kiss to his wife. By 4 p.m. the next day, he too had passed on.
“Because she was gone, he just could not handle it. We just watched him die,” said Sheryl. “I hadn’t thought about it this way at the time — literally, he died of a broken heart.”
Read the full story at The Washington Post.