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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The Independence School District is mourning the loss of a long-time teacher. Teri Cook, and her husband, Doug, both contracted COVID-19 recently and died this week. 

Nearly a year into this pandemic, it brings reminders the virus is still bringing hurt and pain to so many families. Now, two college students are without both parents, and a school and community are grieving. 

Doug and Terri Cook were married 21 years. The couple raised two kids in Jackson County and poured their hearts into the community. 

“They’re the most amazing people I’ve ever met. They would do anything and everything for you and they did. They didn’t just say it, they acted behind it,” said Alexis Cook, Teri and Doug’s daughter. 
 
Last week, Doug, 53, started feeling sick. He tested positive for COVID and ended up hospitalized with COVID pneumonia, and hooked to a ventilator. 

As Doug fought to survive, his wife Teri, 55, also tested positive and needed hospital care for COVID pneumonia and a blood clot. 
 
“It felt like my whole world came crashing down honestly,” Cook said. 
 
This week, the virus took Doug and Teri within moments of each other, after doctors put them side-by-side in the same hospital room. 
 
“I think them passing away on the same time is evident they were ready to go together and that was part of God’s plan and part of their plan, that they wanted to be with each other on their route to heaven,” said Cook. 
 
Teri spent more than 30 years teaching metro kids, the past 20 at Independence Academy.  She’s described as stubborn and smart.   

Doug was a repairman, known as kind and funny. 

Both always offered their children, Cody and Alexis, the best advice and relentless support. 
 
“Anytime we were stressing or worried about anything, they’d say, ‘You know we’ll always take care of you,’ and it would melt all our worries away,’” Cook said. 

The family is immensely thankful for an outpouring of love, helping them press forward during this immensely difficult time and are urging caution as the pandemic persists. 
 
“Take it more seriously. Maybe more seriously than you are. Because i don’t want anyone to go through what Cody & I are going through. Losing one parent is extraordinarily tough. Losing our whole lives in the span of a week, is something I’d never wish anybody to go through,” said Cook. 

The Independence School District sharing in a statement: 

“Our hearts are heavy with the passing of Teri Cook. We grieve this loss and remember her heart for kids during her more than 20 years in the Independence School District. We have had additional counselors at school to provide support for colleagues and students. Teri was a talented and dedicated educator and she will be deeply missed.” 

If you’d like to help the Cook family, you can do so here.

Other family members have also tested positive for the virus, so funeral arrangements are pending.