Helen and Robert Powell smile on the front porch of their Dry Fork home.

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — After a trying and tumultuous time apart while both were battling COVID-19, a Dry Fork couple has reunited at Mulberry Creek Nursing and Rehab Center in Martinsville to fight together.

"It started in Danville," wife Helen Powell said. "We don't know how we got it or who we got it from."

On Saturday, March 13, Helen's Husband, Robert, had a high fever. By Monday, both were hospitalized. Helen went home March 18, but Robert had to stay.

Needing dialysis, Helen was transported to Wake Forest, where she remained until March 25. With Robert already at Mulberry Creek, Helen felt completely alone.

Today, however, the couple has reunited at the rehab center as they recover from COVID-19 together. Their rooms are situated directly across the hall from each other.

"We can visit one another. It makes them so happy to push me in there to see him eating," Helen shared. "He is able to get in the wheelchair and come across into my room, too. It has been a great adventure, but I hope I never have to go through again."

Helen, 85, and Robert, 91, have been married for 70 years and six months, come May 25. They live near Tunstall High School in Dry Fork.

"We've come a long way and we're looking forward to going home," Helen said the morning of April 30. "We are getting the house remodeled on one level. I hope we see the day within the next week that we can return to it."

Since the couple contracted the virus, Helen has seen many friends pass away. She said it breaks her heart that she was not able to be there with them in person.

"I'm just trying to keep myself," said Helen. "I'm grateful for each blessing each and every day. Prayers have brought us through."

Helen and Robert met at the ages of 14 and 20, respectively, at Salmon's Store beside Mt. Hermon School. Robert, known to friends and family as Bobby, was playing in a ping-pong tournament when he "accidentally" sent a ball flying off course toward Helen. Looking back, he said it was just an excuse to get her attention.

After marrying Nov. 25, 1950, the couple went on to have five children: Wayne, Connie, Michael, Nancy and Steven.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.