Harriet and James Spach grew up in Fairhaven but settled in Dartmouth where they built their lives together. They have three sons and have been married for 58 years, although they’ve been together for more than 70 years total.

Harriet is 82-years-old and became ill back in January of 2020. The retired nurse once worked at Alden Court Nursing Care and Rehabilitation Center and returned to the facility as a patient for rehabilitation after hospitalization. Harriet and Jim were separated for approximately three months because of this.

Michelle Pinto is the Clinical Nurse Coordinator at Alden Court and she explained the Spach’s situation following Harriet’s positive COVID-19 result on Thursday, April 16. “Jim really struggled with this diagnosis. He didn’t think she was going to make it home. Last Friday, we made a room change so that she could have a window visit from Jim since he wouldn’t have been able to access her in the room she was in previously. I feel like that window visit brought her back. She took a really good turn after seeing her husband and their dog Victoria. She waved to them and really lit up when she saw them at the window.”

Staff at Alden Court worked tirelessly to help Harriet heal and return to her loved ones as soon as possible. “Of course, I believe that God helped us with that healing and she defied the odds and made it back to her Jim,” says Pinto. “We would speak to him daily, providing clinical updates on Harriet. Every time we spoke with him, he would say ‘please just send her home; even if it’s to die, I want her to die in my arms.’ He touched all of us with his love for Harriet. This is a true love story.”

Thankfully, this story has a happy ending. Harriet wore a face mask as she was wheeled out by staff to greet her husband on Wednesday, April 29. Everyone came out with signs and cheered this woman on as she was reunited with the love of her life. This send-off featured the kind of hype music one would expect before a boxing match. Good thing Harriet had her boxing gloves, proving she was a real fighter.

I truly believe that she was fighting her way back to her husband. Because Harriet and Jim know that true love is worth fighting for. You can see the video below.

READ MORE: Inspiring Stories From the Coronavirus Pandemic

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