A husband and wife were both on life support recently at the same hospital in Canada. The couple’s son, 21-year-old Christopher Mininni, managed to snap a photo of his parents saying goodbye right before his father passed away. The photo has since gone viral online after Mininni shared it on Reddit.
People Magazine exclusively shared the story on Saturday of the touching photo of the husband and wife of 24 years on life support saying goodbye one last time. Mininni said both parents were originally admitted to different hospitals for two very different health reasons, but were able to be together right before his father passed when his mother was transferred to the same hospital.
Chris’ father, Jim, was taken to Kingston General Hospital in Ontario, Canada, on April 28 where he was admitted to ICU for complications from a long, eight-year battle with lung cancer. Coincidentally, Mininni’s mother, Cindy, had a heart attack the very next day and was admitted to a different hospital in Canada. Husband and wife were both put on life support.
Chris says he spent several days running back and forth between the two hospitals as he waited anxiously on a prognosis for both parents. Fortunately for Chris, Cindy was eventually transferred to the same hospital as Jim on May 3, where husband and wife both remained on life support until Jim passed away on the same day, but not before they were able to see each other one last time.
According to Chris, his father pulled out his breathing tube and had an order to not resuscitate. After Jim was told that Cindy was there in the same hospital, Chris says his father started “freaking out” and, unable to speak, tried to write the word “mom” on a piece of paper. That’s when the hospital staff decided to put both husband and wife in the same room, even though Cindy was still on life support.
“It was very risky,” said Chris. “But they did it for them.”
Cindy remained sedated and on life support as Jim held her hand and said goodbye, a touching moment that Chris was able to capture in a photo. A few hours after Chris took the photo, his father passed away. Christopher Mininni has since shared the photo on Reddit, where it went viral in two days’ time with nearly 4,000 votes and over 2,000 comments from people from all around the world, most of which Mininni says have been positive.
Cindy, who’s heartbroken but making a full recovery, says she doesn’t remember the 11 days she spent on life support in the hospital or Jim telling her goodbye. Said Chris, “When she woke up a few days later, the first thing she said was, ‘Is dad dead?’ ” But Cindy does say she’s comforted knowing they were able to be together one last time before Jim passed.
Chris describes his parents as fun-loving people who were inseparable from the moment they met.
“The one thing that encapsulates my dad in this lifetime is that he loved my mother with all of his being. That’s why I love that photo so much – I feel like it shows it.”
Reddit users were also apparently asking Chris to share a photo of how husband and wife were prior to the life support photo, so Chris posted an Imgur link to a photo of his parents lying together in what looks like another hospital bed, saying they were always together, “no matter what.”
But Chris says he didn’t necessarily take the photo of husband and wife on life support just for the benefit of the Reddit community.
“I wanted to show my mom when she got out of the hospital that dad was here almost until his very last breath. She wasn’t able to witness the power and love he was showing her.”
Christopher Mininni went on to say that he only shared the photos of his parents together on Reddit because he wanted people to see how much love they had for each other, and it warms his mother’s heart to read all the “beautiful” responses from Reddit users who say Jim will most certainly be watching over both of them.
[Image of Kingston General Hospital by P199/Wikimedia Commons]