by Nicole Nielsen | CBS 11

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Curtis and Betty Tarpley were high school sweethearts married for 53 years.

They were both diagnosed earlier this month with coronavirus.

It started with 80-year-old Betty.

Curtis and Betty Tarpley (credit: Tim Tarpley)

“My parents are just normal people, but now the whole world knows their story,” said their son Tim Tarpley.

It’s a love story that has been shared across the country.

One that Tarpley says wouldn’t have been possible without the nurses and doctors at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.

When his mother was admitted after feeling fatigued and receiving a positive COVID -19test, it didn’t take long for his father to follow.

However, she declined faster.

“My mom called me and said, ‘Hey, I just want to let you know, I’m ready to go…’ I yelled and screamed, and thought maybe if I talked to her I could inspire her to have one last bit of will to live.”

Then, he called his dad who had also tested positive. He was on a separate floor of the hospital.

“He said ‘how’s your mom?’ I said ‘Not good. She may not make it past tomorrow,’ and it was like, at that moment knowing that my mom was going to go, it was okay for him to go.”

Tim Tarpley (CBS 11)

Tarpley said it was the nurses he never even met that made their last moments together as a family so special.

“It was some doctor or nurse named Blake… that’s all we knew about it him. He really went out of his way to get my mom moved from her room to his room. And then they just placed their hands, near each other, and next thing we know they grabbed each other’s hands. And that’s how they went.”

It was a gesture Tarpley said he could never thank them enough for, especially since they deal with death all day long.

“There’s still so many, you know, unseen heroes that like to help facilitate their ending,” he said.

Comments (16)
  1. A J says:

    History will not remember “president” Trump or the GOP kindly at all -this will be a cautionary tale for future generations about how ignorance and the denying of science can destroy a nation and kill people. Trump really is the most incompetent President this nation has ever known. TRUMP.. UNSTABLE NON-GENIUS NARCISSIST KNOWN SERIAL LIAR! …” HE’S IMPOTUS FOR A REASON. “COME NOVEMBER AMERICANS WILL REMEMBER!” 45 will sacrifice millions for his personal gain, happening now! Your president wants all the authority, none of the responsibility or accountability. Trump Death count keeps going up daily!

    1. Sanityisrare says:

      Liberal Hate is a disease. Here is a story that has absolutely nothing to do with DJT and your hate is so intense you have to turn this into a political false narrative. You are sick.

    2. Trump has nothing to do with people dying. Trump didn’t create the virus, he didn’t unleash the virus. Try blaming China. HOWEVER back to Science. They died because they were old and unfortunately it has a high mortality rate on the elderly. Most diseases are like that. Sorry for their loss. I don’t understand why they both couldn’t have been in the same room. They were both positive. They should have died together.

    3. J Scott says:

      AJ. You are a pathetic individual. You bring embarrassment to most normal American citizens. Have you no shame.

  2. billyboy says:

    Remember it was Cuomo that ordered seniors to be sent to the “Gas Chamber” nursing homes to die..

  3. G says:

    AJ, too bad you need to politicize an otherwise non-political story. Get a life.

  4. Anna says:

    According to federal policy genius.

  5. Ninja Please says:

    Do not go to hospitals.
    It’s pretty well established at this point that they’re just killing people.

  6. Ninja Please says:

    And, honestly, I don’t blame them entirely for that.
    I bet the majority of cases are people abusing the system and trying to get free drugs.

  7. RickD says:

    Mr. Tarpley, thanks for sharing this story of your parents – married 53 years – WOW! And, many thanks to the doctor/nurse Blake who moved your mother into your dad’s room.

  8. naga00 says:

    sorry for you loss, but what a way to go with person you have been in love for 53 years.That idiot that tried to tie politics into the sad situation SHAME ON YOU

  9. E. Conboy says:

    AJ: You are despicable and, did I forget to say, disgusting! Go to hell.

  10. avgjoe says:

    Anna according to what federal policy? Are you blabbing about how only 5 lefty govs in NJ, Ny,Ct, Wi, Ca put chiner virus patients in nursing homes that account for over 50% of the deaths in their states. This means 45 other states did not do this So anyone with a brain will know it was NOT the correct interpretation of federal guide lines. Now try to think anyone with teh intelligence of a squash pant knows nursing homes are breading grounds for flu to be passed around. So why would anyone with a lick of common sense force them to take kung-fu flu patients especially when you have several field hospitals & the USS Mercy hospital ship at your beckoning? Wouldnt sending chiner virus pateints to nursing homes be a last resirt especially since you saw what happened in europe where it devastated the elderly population or was this intentional? Do anything at any cost to discourage & take down President Trump.

    AJ you obviously suffer from serious mental illness & TDS. Maybe you might try stop watching FAKE NEWS & maybe do a bit of research & not look at the filtered top search on google. Also take away Ny Nj Ca Mi numbers (allrun by radical left dems) & the numbers drop by over 50%.

  11. James Herendeen says:

    Avgjoe: what a bitter person,you messed up a good story. I don’t know if there was one person in either party that could have done a better job in dealing with this crisis. Try blaming China ,WHO or our own CDC who got most things wrong before they got them right. Take a chill pill and take politics away from it before you suffer a stroke…covid 19 on your death certificate.

  12. Francesca M Ulrich says:

    Why do politics have to be discussed with every topic? BORING! A story of love does not require always mentioning President Trump. Don’t be a hater!!

  13. Wise Ole Al says:

    zero information on this article proves they died of corona.

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