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Married for 67 years, they died 2 days apart

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Myron and Betty Young didn't spend much time apart. And that stayed true, even as their lives ended.

The Austin Daily Herald reports the Mower County couple died within two days of each other after 67 years of marriage.

In describing her parents, Wanda Gwinn tells the newspaper "It was like they really were one person."

The Daily Herald provides this chronology of their final days:

  • Myron, 89, entered a hospital with flu symptoms in late December. 87-year-old Betty, who was fighting ALS, was hospitalized two days later.
  • On New Year's eve, Betty was released to a nursing home in Austin. Less than a week later, Myron followed.
  • Myron was comatose when he entered the nursing home. But on Jan. 7 he woke up
    "...and the couple spent some time together reminiscing about their lives, saying 'I love you,' and holding hands," the Herald says.
  • After two days, Myron slipped back into a coma. He died on the 11th, two days before Betty. A joint funeral was held for both of them this week.

Gwinn tells the Rochester Post Bulletin Myron lived in Mower County all of his 89 years.

He was a farmer who worked various other jobs. Betty was initially a school teacher, then spent 30 years as a probation officer, according to her obituary.

So, is it just a coincidence when people who were together so long in life die within days of each other?

A cardiologist at Johns Hopkins University tells the Augusta Chronicle no, it's not purely coincidence. Ilan Wittstein says emotional stress causes a release of hormones that can damage heart muscles in a condition that's nicknamed "broken heart syndrome."

“The heart’s really only temporarily broken,” Wittstein said. “Most people do recover but you can be sick enough to die from this.”

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