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GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Two longtime teachers in the Metroplex area of Texas died on the same day from the coronavirus, family members and school officials said.

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Paul Blackwell and Rose Mary Blackwell, who were teachers in the Grand Prairie Independent School District, died Sunday, KTVT reported.

The couple’s son said they had been in the hospital for some time, and both died within hours of each other on Sunday, according to KDFW. They were holding hands when they died, KTVT reported.

“Two of my other brothers are actually in the room there at the hospital and they wheeled my stepmother in there in the room with my father and at the same time, removed them both from the ventilator. They had them holding hands and they were both gone in a couple of minutes,” Christopher Blackwell told KTVT. “I’ve never seen anything like that before and it’s hard to even put into words seeing that.”

Another son, Shawn Blackwell, told CNN he “kind of knew where it was going” when doctors spoke to the family about the Blackwells’ condition.

“I just didn’t want to believe it,” Shawn Blackwell said. “It wasn’t an easy thing to do.”

Paul Blackwell, 61, was a physical education teacher and a football coach at Fannin Middle School in Grand Prairie, KXAS reported. He previously worked at the Young Men’s Leadership Academy at Kennedy Middle School in Grand Prairie, WFAA reported.

Rose Mary Blackwell, 65, was a second grade teacher for the past 20 years at the Travis World Language Academy, also in Grand Prairie, Sam Buchmeyer, the district’s public information officer, told The Dallas Morning News. She was the school’s longest-tenured teacher, Buchmeyer said.

“Rose Mary and Paul will be greatly missed by many,” according to a statement from Grand Prairie school district officials. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to their family, friends, co-workers and students both current and former.”

A GoFundMe page has been established to cover funeral expenses for the Blackwells. As of Wednesday night, nearly $20,000 had been raised.

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