A pensioner with coronavirus died on the same day as his wife of 63 years after refusing treatment when he learned of her passing.
Bill Dartnall, 90, removed his oxygen mask after being told about the death of his wife Mary, 81, who had also tested positive for the virus.
Mr Dartnall worked as a chimney sweep in Southampton for more than 40 years and, along with his wife, was also a well-known beekeeper.
After falling ill Mrs Dartnall became unresponsive and was taken to Southampton General Hospital, where she tested positive for Covid-19.
A few days later her husband suffered a stroke and was admitted to the same hospital, where he too was found to have the virus.
The couple, who lived in Millbrook, were both treated for what is known as Covid-19 pneumonia.
Bill and Mary Dartnall in hospital on March 17, before ending up on the coronavirus ward
Bill and Mary Dartnall on their wedding day, November 1956. It was a devastating double tragedy for the couple’s two daughters, Rosemary and Ann
After initially appearing to improve, Mrs Dartnall took a turn for the worse and died a few days after she was admitted.
When her husband was told the news, he refused further oxygen and died five hours later.
It was a devastating double tragedy for the couple’s two daughters, Rosemary and Ann.
Rosemary said: ‘When he was told that Mum had passed away he tried to pull the mask off his face and made it clear he didn’t want any more oxygen.
When Mr Dartnall was told the news, he refused further oxygen and died five hours later
Mr and Mrs Dartnell in their garden. According to NHS England patients have the right to decline treatment
‘Dad refused to wear the mask – we don’t know why exactly but he didn’t want to carry on.
‘He continued to be cared for and passed away peacefully in his sleep a few hours later.
‘Dad probably wouldn’t have wanted to live without Mum. They were very much a pair and it’s hard to imagine either of them without the other.’
According to NHS England patients have the right to decline treatment.
Its website says: ‘If you refuse a treatment, your decision must be respected, even if is thought that refusing treatment would result in your death.’