Irish couple Maire and Gerry Ryan were 93 when, at each others’ sides and within two hours, they died.
According to the Irish Mirror, the two were born just one day apart in the town of Tipperary and they died together on Monday, Feb. 19, after being admitted to a nursing home when both fell ill.
It was reported that their beds were set side by side so that they could spend their final moments holding hands.
Real-life ‘Notebook’ couple die side-by-side after almost 80 years together https://t.co/FxZokdLByR
— LA Charm (@LeslieAnnGiese) February 22, 2018
The Irish couple died surrounded by staff and nurses at the Curragh Lawn Nursing Home in County Kildare. Numerous news outlets have picked up their story and some have compared it to the hit film “The Notebook.”
The story is about two young lovers who are separated when the man goes off to war, only to be dramatically reunited in the end. It is set in a nursing home when both protagonists are nearing the end of their lives. The man recollects their youth as he reads from a notebook, with the story ending as the lovers die together, side by side.
Maire and Gerry got married when Gerry’s career in the army brought him to the town of Newbridge, RSVP Live reports. Gerry retired from the army and later joined Ireland’s Training and Employment Authority.
Maire was a schoolteacher and later principal. After concluding her career in education she became afflicted with Alzheimer’s. It is reported that eventually Gerry looked after her full-time.
When he became unable to look after his wife at their home due to a debilitating form of arthritis, Gerry was admitted for long-term care to Curragh Lawn Nursing Home, where Maire joined him.
According to RSVP Live, staff at the home marveled at the affection shared by the elderly couple and were impressed by Gerry’s dedication to Maire.
“Gerry used to hold her hand all the time and remind her about the olden times and their life,” said Sarrita, a member of staff at the facility. He used to orientate her to the present every single day. He would sit and tell her poems, he loved Irish poetry, and he used to sing to her at night. I have never seen anything like that. I have been in the nursing home 13 years and we never saw anything like them. He was so dedicated to her.”
But when Gerry fell ill and had to be transferred to the hospital, Maire condition deteriorated. Her food intake dropped off and her dementia worsened.
When Gerry’s illness reached a point at which no treatment provided hope of recovery, the hospital authorities allowed him to return to the nursing home for palliative care.
Gerry reportedly requested that staff move him to be by his wife’s side, so he could hold her hand.
“The night before he passed away he wanted to hold her hand so staff wheeled the two beds together and they held hands, and he told staff he knew she would die soon as she was very ill and then he also went downhill,” Sarrita told RSVP Live.
Maire died at 3.45 a.m. that morning and Gerry at 5.20 p.m. the same day.
Sarrita told reporters that their connection was unique and unforgettable.
“We knew they wouldn’t want to be without each other, so it was lovely for them. I have never seen love like it,” she said.