/Illinois couple fighting coronavirus treated to ‘dinner date’ by hospital staff: ‘Always inseparable’

Illinois couple fighting coronavirus treated to ‘dinner date’ by hospital staff: ‘Always inseparable’

Everybody loves a great date.

An “inseparable” elderly couple was treated to a special date night in an Illinois hospital, after both being admitted for COVID-19.

Masako “Terry” Martinez, 86, checked into HSHS St. Elizabeth’s in O’Fallon on Jan. 22, and her husband Frank Martinez, 93, followed on Jan. 25, a spokesperson for the hospital told Fox News. The Martinez’s have been married for 63 years, and are being treated for the coronavirus in separate areas of the hospital.

HSHS St. Elizabeth’s nurses made a memorable dinner date night for a married couple who are both patients in different areas of the hospital. Pictured left to right, Kim Presson, Terry Martinez, Frank Martinez and Hannah Schlemer.
(HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital)

Soon after they were admitted, a family member said the couple was “always inseparable and very dependent” on one another — inspiring their nurses, Kim Presson and Hannah Schlemer, to get planning.

On Jan. 27, Terry and Frank were treated to a date night dinner where they were allowed to visit each other, hold hands and share a bite to eat, “just as they have done for so many years,” according to a statement.

During this difficult time, Presson said the team at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s is doing everything possible to spread “a little bit of joy.” Presson added that Frank — a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam — remains dedicated as ever to his wife.

“[The doctor] said despite Frank’s own medical issues, his only concern is with her well-being,” Presson said. “Just the history of them struck a special chord for me. I know it’s hard for the all our patients being here so anything we can do to bring them a little bit of joy is always important to us at St. Elizabeth’s.”

The hospital also shared the story to Facebook, where it’s tugged at the heartstrings of hundreds of users.

“Kim and Hannah, THANK YOU!!! I have known these two lovebirds since the 60s. My parents were dear friends of theirs,” one commenter wrote. “And their family is so right. They were inseparable. They are the sweetest couple ever.”

“Awesome! Prayers to both for a speedy recovery and to the St. Elizabeth staff who cares for them!” another exclaimed.

“Proud to be a nurse knowing these two are on the job,” one said. “Thank you for all you do, but especially your compassion.”