Florida’s elderly ‘Romeo and Juliet’ risk COVID-19 for one final embrace

It was love in the time of COVID-19 for a 90-year-old Florida man who died Saturday after he insisted on visiting his beloved wife who had caught the virus.

Sam Reck died of coronavirus-related complications three weeks after his deathbed reunion with his wife of nearly 30 years, USA Today reported. JoAnn Reck 86, died July 12.

The couple was likened to Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” at the Florida Presbyterian Homes, where a pandemic lockdown prevented them from having close contact.

Reck’s daughter, Holly Reck, thinks her father probably became infected while visiting his wife in the hospital.

“Most likely, and he knew the risks,” she said. “There wasn’t anything any of us could have done to have talked him out of that. He would have gotten himself there one way or the other to see her. I do believe that.”

Scott Hooper, JoAnn Reck’s son from her first marriage, talked about how Sam Reck had no regrets after he was diagnosed with the infection.

“After Sam tested positive for COVID, I asked him if he regretted his visit to the hospital,” Hooper wrote in a Facebook post. “Without pause he replied, ‘Not one second.’ He said no matter what happens, he was very happy he had the opportunity to say goodbye and hold her hand one more time.”


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