Couple married 67 years receives COVID vaccine after diagnosis forced them apart

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS (WXIN) – Don and Joyce Hoffman have joined the group of Indiana residents vaccinated against COVID-19 after the virus forced them apart for weeks during the summer of 2020 after Joyce got coronavirus.

The Hoffmans have been married for 67 years.

“I saw him in the cafeteria, and I thought ‘I think he’d be fun to know sometime’ and here I got married,” said Joyce Hoffman, who received the COVID vaccine.  

Don and Joyce Hoffman are now in their 90s. The longest the two have been away from each other was last summer when Joyce had COVID.

“Oh, it was a long time. I thought we would never get together. It was forever I thought. Oh my goodness it was terrible,” said Don.

Despite all of Don’s desperate attempts, the couple had to spend five weeks apart.

“In fact, I wanted to go upstairs. I said, ‘Let me get the virus too, and then I can be up there with her.’ They didn’t like that idea. They said, ‘You can’t do that,’” recalled Don.

Waiting was the only option for the Hoffmans, and the wait was worth it.

“I missed her hugs and kisses. I didn’t get any hugs and kisses while [she was] gone. And then when I turned around, she was right there standing behind me,” said Don.

After being reunited, the Hoffmans had to wait again, this time for a vaccine.

Last week, Don and Joyce were two of the nearly 200 residents and staff at Hooverwood Living Facility in Indianapolis to get their first dose of the Moderna vaccine.

Governor Eric Holcomb mentioned the couple in his weekly press conference this week.

“The shot was nothing. I can’t believe it yet. I still can’t believe it. I said, ‘Are they going to give me a shot?’ They said, ‘You already had it (laughs). It was so painless — didn’t hurt at all,” said Don.

This husband and wife are remaining hopeful that this is the start of life getting back to normal, but until then, they have each other.

The Hoffmans are scheduled to get their second vaccine on February 5.

They’ll celebrate their 68th wedding anniversary on July 13.

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