More than 26 years ago, Audre and Charles Gaskin promised to stay together in sickness and in health, as part of their marriage vows. They meant the words, of course, but  never imagined it would mean they would be sharing a hospital room after suffering from simultaneous heart conditions.

“He’s my best friend, we do everything together,” said Audre of Charles, admitting, this went a little too far. But thanks to their determination, love for each other and the care of Hackensack Meridian Health’s cardio-vascular team, Charles survived a massive heart attack, known as the “widow maker,” and Audre survived heart failure. The two have been recuperating together in the same hospital room at Hackensack University Medical Center, until last week, when the happy couple were grateful to go home together where they look forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day.