(WWBT/NBC NEWS) - Don and Margaret Livengood lived so inseparably throughout their six decades together that even death couldn't keep them apart for more than a few hours.
The North Carolina couple spent their last moments together holding hands, their fingers entwined in spite of the IV lines and medical tape that covered them.
Margaret passed away first. Her husband joined her about nine hours later.
The Livengoods originally were admitted into rooms down the hall from each other but after Don's condition worsened, he was moved to the intensive care unit on a separate floor.
"As soon as they moved farther apart, you could tell the toll it took, particularly on Mr. Livengood," said Dr. Randy Schisler, a palliative care physician who helped treat the couple at Carolinas Healthcare System. "It was easy to see the anxiety and how nervous he felt, always wondering what was going on with his wife."
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