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The Power Of Touch

By Jeremy Chin
Posted on 14 May, 2015


Research affirms the many benefits of touch. It has shown that healthy touch releases endorphins such as the bonding hormone oxytocin which improves sleep, lowers blood pressure and boosts the immune system. But touch is rarely merely physical. Touch builds bridges between people that are stronger than any on the planet. What can be more life-altering?

One this subject, I am reminded of the story of the devoted Iowa couple who died holding hands, exactly one hour apart. They were married for 72 years.

The passing reflected the nature of their marriage, where, "As a rule, everything was done together," said the couple's daughter Donna Sheets.



Gordon Yeager and his wife Norma were involved in a car accident that landed them in the emergency room and intensive care unit with broken bones and other injuries. When it became clear that their conditions were not improving, the couple was moved into a room together in beds side-by-side where they could hold hands.

Gordon Yeager died at 3:38 p.m. He was no longer breathing, but the monitor showed that his heart was still beating.

Sheets recalled. "The nurse said Dad was picking up Mom's heartbeat through Mom's hand."
"And we thought, 'Oh my gosh, Mom's heart is beating through him,'" the couple’s son, Dennis Yeager, said.

Norma Yeager died exactly an hour later.

"Dad used to say that a woman is always worth waiting for," Dennis said. "Dad waited an hour for her and held the door for her."

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