In 2002, Lucinda Marker and her husband, John Tull, came down with the Bubonic Plague — the same bacterial infection that killed about one-third of Europe’s population in the Middle Ages.
Today, the plague is rare in the U.S., only a handful catch it each year and it’s mostly found in Southwest states — where Lucinda and John live.
They were bitten by fleas infected with plague near their home in New Mexico, and fell ill while vacationing in New York City.
Click here for the transcript.
John Tull (JT): And for a married couple to both get the plague, at the same time, was an inconceivable thought.
LM: They though maybe we were terrorists or victims of bioterrorism. A few hours later that day, you were in a coma. So, what do you remember after you woke up?
JT: What really struck me was, where have I been? I thought, What happened to Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years. And you told me that I'd been in a coma for almost 90 days.
LM: What do you think kept you alive?
JT: I think there's one of three reasons. The first reason is because I'm a tough son of a bitch. The second reason is because God just didn't want me at that particular time. The third reason is, we knew my oldest son and his wife were pregnant with the first grandchild. And by God, I was going to stay alive to see that little grandbaby. If I had just folded into a wet dishrag on the bed, I think it would have let a lot of people down.
LM: So, why do you think we got it?
JT: Well, in my opinion, it's just called bad luck.
LM: I agree.
JT: As an old West Texan would say, we drew the black bean. But, you know, I was in the hospital for a total of 224 days. If it hadn't been for you, from the very beginning, I would have died. It almost makes me cry.
LM: You know what I think? If you can live through something like the plague, you can probably live through just about anything.
JT: That's absolutely true. And we did it.
LM: Together. That's how we'll keep doing everything else.
JT: That how we'll keep doing it until the day one of us really leaves.