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A woman has thanked hospital staff for doing "everything they could" to reunite her sick parents before her father's death.

Malcolm and Susan Rhodes, from Oadby, Leicestershire, were being treated at different hospitals in Leicester.

Their daughter Julie Rhodes said staff pulled out all the stops to bring them back together when it became clear Mr Rhodes was dying with Covid-19.

Her mother is now recovering at home after suffering post-op complications.

Mr and Mrs Rhodes had been married for 55 years, the Local Democracy Reporting Service reports.

Mrs Rhodes, 74, spent nearly a year in Leicester Royal Infirmary after having a complicated procedure on her pancreas in May 2020 that did not go to plan.

Ms Rhodes said: "There was a real chance she was going to die."

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Mr Rhodes, who was 78, had been shielding due to the pandemic and only left the house to visit his wife in hospital.

However, he began to develop Covid symptoms and became "really poorly".

His daughter said: "We think he must have picked it up on his way to or from visiting [his wife in hospital]."

His condition deteriorated and he was admitted to Glenfield Hospital - about three miles away from Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Malcolm and Susan Rhodes
image captionJulie Rhodes thinks her father contracted Covid while visiting his wife in hospital
As it became clear that Mr Rhodes was approaching the end of his life, hospital staff made sure the couple could say their last goodbyes.

Ms Rhodes said: "In mum's mind she needed to see him, there were things she needed to say to him, she wanted to see him before he died, be with him.

"I can't find the words for the staff, as soon as we got the call about dad they just did everything they could to get mum there.

"Within 20 minutes she was in an ambulance on her way to him so they could see each other one last time.

"I still can't believe it now when I think about it, their kindness, compassion."

'The ultimate price'
Mr Rhodes hung on to see his wife two more times before he died on 1 February.

Ms Rhodes said: "The last times they got together meant so much, to them, to all of us.

"They were each other's everything. I can't imagine them not being able to see each other before dad died."

The family say Mr Rhodes "paid the ultimate price" for rushing to his wife's bedside but believe he wouldn't have done things differently.

Mrs Rhodes - who may need further surgery and still requires care - is at home recovering.

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