KNOX COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) After thirty two years of marriage, Eric Smith says his parents Marilyn and Dorman had a unique connection.
"If you looked at them you could see just an energy surrounding them, it's untouchable," said Smith, "I've never experienced love like that myself, and I know a lot of people in this world will never be able to experience something like that. It's something so truly beautiful."
During the week of Christmas, Dorman checked into a hospital with Pneumonia.
Days later, his wife Marilyn was diagnosed with the flu.
While Dorman was in the intensive care unit at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, his wife as also flown in for treatment.
She arrived on their anniversary.
At the UT Medical Center, doctors told Smith his parents both had Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ARDS.
ARDS is a lung condition that prevents sufficient oxygen from getting to the lungs.
"I think it was about six or seven hours later when dad passed away," said Smith, "Then three days after, that mom passed."
Smith says his parents deaths have left him in a state of shock and numbness, yet their presence comforts him.
"It was like my mom and dad were talking to me saying it's okay...It's going to be rough but it's okay at this point."
Smith plans on holding benefit concerts and fund raising events, all to support The ARDS Foundation.
He says that if his actions help even one family prevent losing a loved one, his mission will be accomplished.
No dates have been set for any event yet, but if you'd like to contribute to ARDS research, you may make a donation or find more information at http://ardsusa.org/