PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An emotional and inspiring story of true love is being celebrated for November which is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.
Marty and John DeMucci were high school sweethearts, married 68 years ago. He was in the air force in World War II , photographed with a plane named after his beloved. Their son Angelo says, “The name on the plane is what they used to call my mom- Marty. Her real name was Martha, but they used to call her Marty.”
He says even their wedding was magic, “her wedding gown was made of his parachute.”
Angelo and his wife Mary recall a lifetime of happy memories with his parents, who lived in Delaware county. But in February, they were both gravely sick, John was 92, Marty 88. They ended up at Crozer-Keystone Hospice at Taylor Hospital.
“Everybody thinks hospice is about dying and it’s not. It’s really about living,” says Lauren Haeberlen, a hospice nurse manager at Taylor. She helped take care of the DeMucci’s. November is hospice month. Lauren says, “There are a lot of misconceptions. People hear hospice and they think that it’s immediate death or that we help that along and that’s just not true. We want to provide them time with just comfort.”
The DeMucci’s didn’t want medical interventions. And now Medicare will pay for doctors to have those end-of-life talks before there’s a crisis. Angelo says, “You need to have that. You need the doctors to talk to people in their trying times about the end of life.”
For the DeMucci’s, hospice moved beds so they could be next to each other holding hands one last time. “They wanted to be together for all their life, ’till death do us part,” Angelo says.
Marty went first and incredibly, after 7 decades together, hours later John died too, on the same day. Angelo says, “They’ll be together forever, so what more could your family ask for, that they’re happy. So it was good.”
Angelo says for as difficult as it was to lose both parents on the same day, he was relieved and will be forever grateful to hospice.