In a tragic incident, twin brothers Joefred and Ralphred passed away due to COVID-19 24 hours apart. Even death couldn't separate them. On May 13, Gregory Raymond Raphael and Soja, Malayalis settled in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, received devastating news from the hospital where their sons had been admitted. They were told that Joefred had passed away while Ralphred was still battling for his life.
The identical twins had recently turned 24 and were natives of Mannuthy in Thrissur district of Kerala. Both parents are teachers at St Thomas School in Meerut and have been living in Uttar Pradesh for several years.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the twins had tested positive for the coronavirus on April 23. After treatment, they tested negative on May 10. However, they eventually succumbed to the deterioration caused by the virus.
Speaking to TNM, Sunny Mathew, a close relative of the family, said that the twins were very close to each other. After schooling, they enrolled in an engineering course and went for jobs in Hyderabad and Gurugram.
According to the family, the twins were first treated at home and later shifted to Anand Hospital in Meerut where their oxygen levels began dipping. They were put on ventilator support in the ICU. The parents expected them to recover.
However, on May 13, they received a phone call informing them that Joefred had passed away.
"When the parents received the call, Ralphred was at the same hospital. When the mother spoke to him later and asked about his health, he suddenly enquired about Joefred. He suspected that something had happened to his brother. He told his mother that she was trying to hide it," Sunny said.
Ralphred too passed away 24 hours later.
"When Joefred died, I had a sixth sense that Ralphred would not make it. Simply because they were inseparable," the father told IE.
Sunny too told TNM that the twins shared a very close bond.
"The same things would always happen to the twins. When the father heard about Joefred's death, he had the feeling that Ralphred too would not make it," Sunny.
The twins worked as software developers and were doing well in their respective jobs. They also played basketball.
The parents have a third son, the eldest among the siblings, Nelfred Raphael Gregory.