COVID-19 claims Kentucky grandparents just days apart

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MADISONVILLE, Ky. (WEHT) — A Kentucky family is struggling to cope with the loss of two loved ones to COVID-19 in a matter of days.

Freda Woods met her husband, Doug, the old-fashioned way.

“He did happen to go eat at the restaurant where my nana was a carhop and to my understanding, it was love at first sight on his end,” said the couple’s granddaughter Tifani Morgan.

Doug and Freda Woods. Courtesy: Tifani Morgan.

Doug was traveling the state and saving up for a trip out of the country, but after meeting Freda, he never left Madisonville. The two Kentucky natives were married for 63 years.

“They didn’t go anywhere without the other one,” said Morgan.

They lived together at the Ridgewood Terrace Nursing Home but were separated after Freda became ill with the coronavirus and was taken to the hospital. She died Sunday at age 85.

Doug and Freda Woods. Courtesy: Tifani Morgan.

“She had a very big heart. She loved big,” said Morgan.

Two days later, Doug also died of complications from the virus. He was 90 years old.

“He would do anything for anyone. It didn’t matter who you were, where you came from. He was tough, but I don’t know that my nana would have done well with losing him,” said Morgan.

The couple’s story has been heard all around Kentucky through a Facebook post from Morgan. Kentucky’s Gov. Andy Beshear commented on it in a news briefing.

Doug and Freda Woods. Courtesy: Tifani Morgan.

“For Doug and for Freda, for their family and for all of the Kentucky families that are hurting today, our hearts go out to you and we will fight out houses green,” said Beshear.

Said Morgan after his comments: “I just had no idea when I posted it that the Governor would be making reference to it. Even though grandpa would not like it, my nana would have been beside herself.”

Spotlight or not, Morgan says both grandparents would be thankful their story is being used to protect others.

“Everyone who has passed away from this, it’s someone’s family and maybe putting a face with this will cause some people to take it more seriously. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody,” said Morgan.

Doug and Freda Woods. Courtesy: Tifani Morgan.

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