The inseparable couple had been married for over 51 years and lived in Boynton Beach, Florida, retired. None of them had serious health problems. In mid-March, they started to feel sick.
They both died on Sunday, six minutes apart, from complications from Covid-19, their son Buddy Baker said.
Stuart Baker was 74 years old. Adrian Baker was 72 years old.
The family was optimistic at first
Baker detailed the events that led to the death of his parents in a telephone interview with CNN.
About three weeks ago, Stuart and Adrian went to the doctor after they didn’t feel well, according to Baker. They were finally sent home.
A few days later, their symptoms still did not improve, so their doctor recommended that they go to the hospital. Baker said they were also sent home from the hospital and told to quarantine until they feel better.
“It was before the world closed, before the NCAA tournament was canceled, so you still don’t think it’s going to be deadly,” he said.
Baker said he would call regularly to check on his parents, but their health did not seem to improve. One day they seemed to be on the rise, then the next day they would feel worse again.
After a few more days, on March 19, they were told to return to the hospital. Baker’s father, who had a fever and also suffered from asthma, was admitted. Her mother, who had no fever, was not.
Despite the circumstances, Baker said he and his family were optimistic. They were talking to Stuart regularly on his phone, and it looked like he would be able to get through.
About 48 hours later, her father was admitted to intensive care – but the family was still optimistic. Stuart went from 60% oxygen to 50%, a sign that things were going in the right direction.
Then the couple started to deteriorate
Meanwhile, Baker’s mother was at home. Although she did not have a fever or other worrisome symptoms, knowing that her husband was in the hospital took a heavy mental toll.
“We just thought it was the result of my father being away from her for five days, which was very very very rare in their lives together,” said Baker.
Baker said he and his sister would visit their mother several times a day, sitting outside the garage while their mother was sitting inside. On March 24, they received a call from the hospital. Their father had tested positive for Covid-19 and the doctor said it didn’t look like he would be successful.
The call was overwhelming, said Baker. They did not want to disturb their mother with the news and decided to take her to the hospital as a precaution. They wanted to see if she too could be tested, but because she had no fever or other related symptoms, they thought she would be fine.
Within 45 minutes of their mother’s recording, Baker said the doctor had called to report that her oxygen levels were very low. Neither would she.
With their parents’ organs failing, Baker said he and his sister had decided to move their parents to palliative care on the advice of medical professionals. Her mother and father were both transferred to the same room and removed the fans to keep them comfortable. Within minutes of each other, they had passed.
“They were as compatible and inseparable as two human beings married and existed on earth,” said Baker.
Message from the baker for others
Baker, his three children and his sister’s family gathered for his parents’ memorial service at Boynton Beach on Thursday. The service was broadcast live to other friends and relatives and watched by people around the world, he said.
“I hope people hear our story and it motivates them to do the right thing,” he said. “By doing this, it may not affect them or it will not affect their family, but maybe they are helping another family not to endure the pain and agony that I, my sister and our children and the rest of our family are enduring right now. ” “
Baker said he hoped his family’s story could be a catalyst for change. He calls on people to listen to what health officials have said: distance yourself, wash your hands regularly, and most importantly, stay at home.