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GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A Michigan husband and wife – both fully vaccinated against COVID-19 – both nonetheless tragically died of the dreaded illness on Monday less than a minute apart from each other after being taken off of life support.
Cal Dunham, 59, and his wife Linda, 66, of Grand Rapids, each had pre-existing health conditions, but when both began to fall ill during a family camping trip earlier in September, they initially brushed it off as a mere cold, according to their daughter Sarah.
“[My father] called me before our family camping trip and said he wasn’t feeling good but he thinks it’s just like sinus, and [Linda] caught it and she’s like, ‘He gave me his cold,’” she said. “The third day they woke me up and said, ‘We’ve got to go because we don’t feel well.’ So I packed them all up and they left.”
After returning home, Cal and Linda began to feel worse and worse; they were taken to the hospital and were eventually put on ventilators; however, on Sunday doctors told their daughter Sarah that nothing else could be done, and that her parents would need to be removed from life support the next day.
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On Monday, hospital officials wheeled Cal into Linda’s room, and while holding hands, the couple passed away after life support was shut off; Cal at 11:07 a.m., and Linda less than a minute afterwards.
“She always joked and said, ‘Well, you’re going to go before I am. I’ll be right there behind you. I promise.’ She really was, like she really was right there behind him,” Sarah said of her mother. “The love that they found together after a previous marriage is fantastic. They were the people that you just looked at and you were like, ‘I want to be old like that, I want that love when I’m that age.’”
Sarah said that her parents took the COVID-19 pandemic seriously and took every precaution – including getting vaccinated – but they both had underlying health issues that made them more vulnerable.
“I’m angry because so many people are like, ‘If I catch COVID, I catch COVID, that’s what it is.’ No, it’s not,” she said. “It could be any person…it could be anybody. They did everything right, they did everything to protocol the way it should be done.”