While giving CPR to his dying wife, 67-year-old Johnny Hatley of New London, North Carolina experienced a heart attack and died after realizing there was no hope to resuscitate his wife.
On Sunday morning, Hatley watched as his wife of 31-years, Teresa Ann Brooks Hatley, 66, fell to the ground apparently dead. He stooped down and immediately started performing CPR. But then he experienced a heart attack and died.
Now his family has said that he “couldn’t live without her” and died from a broken heart. Learn more about this bittersweet tragedy below…
As soon as he saw his wife on the ground, Johnny rushed over and began administering CPR. But it was no use. The police reported that Teresa was already dead at the time and he had no hope to revive her.
Johnny must have known there was no hope. His wife was gone. In that instant, his heart broke and he had a heart attack, dying at the scene alongside his wife of 31 years.
In wake of the news, the couple’s daughters Shelly Palmer and Lisa Hammill are devastated. Although they do find comfort in the fact that they died together.
“Obviously, he could not live without her,” their daughter, Lisa Hammill, told Stanly News and Press.
“Lisa and I are at peace knowing, without a doubt, that our parents are together in heaven,” said Shelly Palmer.
“It was important that their children and their grandchildren knew that there was more to life than material things,” Shelly said. “And that nothing, nothing here mattered except their salvation and their faith in Jesus.”
The couple had married in their early thirties and own Fast Shop Food Stores of New London, but all the locals just called it “Johnny’s”. He did buy it 41 years ago at the age of 26 and spent his life making it great again.
“Often times it’s not even called Fast Stop, it’s called Johnny’s,” said Palmer.
“I don’t think Johnny ever turned anybody away,” Hammill said.
Over the decades, the love birds developed a loyal clientele.
Cashier Tabitha Alanis wrote on Facebook: “I will miss these two so much. I still cant believe they are gone…I’m still waiting on my phone to ring, and hear Johnny say “Well Tabbyloo what days you workin’ this week?” So I could say “That’s what you get paid the big bucks to figure out!”
“I loved all his silly sayings and quick comebacks,” the cashier concluded.
“Anybody who comes in the store knew that because they knew at Christmas Johnny bought candy and toys and everything that looked like Christmas, he ordered way too much….” Shelly said.
“That’s something they instilled in us. Very strong work ethic, both of them,” Lisa added.
The Hatleys also have a son David who has special needs.
“It was just what they did. They made it work, whatever the circumstances or obstacle,” Palmer said.
The couple was a team and every day they took turns managing the store. Although both owners died, the store will have normal hours this week, except Thursday when the funeral will be conducted.
Please SHARE THIS STORY with your family and friends on Facebook today!