Meerut twins, 24, die hours apart after battling COVID-19
On May 13, Gregory Raymond Raphael and his wife Soja learned through a phone call that their son Joefred Varghese Gregory had passed away due to the coronavirus. Joefred's twin Ralphred was undergoing treatment at the same hospital in Meerut. Though he was not informed about his brother's death, the parents say he sensed something was wrong. Ralphred died just hours later.
The twins had contracted the fatal infection on April 23 and subsequently developed fever, which lasted several days. They took medication but their condition did not improve, Raphael, their father, says. Earlier this month, both were admitted to the Anand Hospital in Meerut after their oxygen saturation levels started dropping. They were later put on ventilator support in the ICU.
On May 10, the brothers tested negative and the parents were hopeful. But, "Three days later, our world came crashing," Raphael said. After Joefred died, Ralphred talked to his parents on a phone call and immediately sensed something was wrong. "Maa, you are lying," he told his mother as she tried to cook up a story that he was shifted to a Delhi hospital.
"When Joefred died, I had a sixth sense that Ralphred would not make it," their father said. He did not, dying the next day. "Simply because they were inseparable," Raphael told the media.
The staff members at the Anand Hospital remember the twins' bond. "They were fit, well-built, six feet in height. The hospital staff, the doctors tried our best," says Dr. Munesh Pandit, according to The Indian Express. "My faith in the Almighty has been shaken. My sons were pure and did not deserve this," Raphael was quoted as saying.
Joefred and Ralphred were born on April 23, 1997, only three minutes apart. Right from their childhood, the twins did everything together. They studied engineering together from the Karunya University in Coimbatore and secured placements in their final year. Both had since been working in Hyderabad and were planning to move abroad. They are survived by their parents and an elder brother - Nelfred.