Video footage captured the moment a family kicked-off a surprise birthday party that ended with 18 of them catching coronavirus.
Ron Barbosa’s relatives held the bash in Carrollton, Texas, last month to mark his daughter-in-law’s 30th birthday, but now three family members are in hospital.
The gathering – which was legal under rules currently in force in Texas – has resulted in a mass infection, with Ron’s elderly parents, Frank and Carole hospitalized with Covid-19. His sister Kathy, who has cancer, has also been admitted for treatment.
Frank, who is in his 80s, is in ICU, with doctors warning he may soon have to be put on a ventilator. Carole, who has been married to her husband for 68 years, is not as seriously ill, while Kathy appears to be recovering, even though she is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. She contracted Covid-19 despite staying outside on the porch in an attempt to socially distance.
Ron believes his mom caught the virus after stopping off at the party to drop it off then passed it on to his dad.
He said: ‘My dad’s hanging on by a thread. They’re saying this is one of the last straws for my dad.’
Ron believes his nephew brought the infection into the family after developing a cough that he dismissed as something minor that he’d picked up at the construction site where he worked.
Ron, an EMT, and his doctor wife refused to go to the party over fears it could spread coronavirus. And those worries were realized when Ron’s nephew interacted with seven members at the party, all of whom later developed coronavirus, and tested positive for the disease.
Those seven then spread the potentially deadly condition to 10 other loved ones, bringing the total infection count to 18.
A total of 25 people attended the party, which ended up causing a mass of infections despite only lasting several hours. Ron told WFAA: ‘ It wasn’t that long. It was only a couple of hours.
‘But during that brief time, somehow the other 18 family members are now infected with Covid.
‘When people started getting sick, we really let everyone have it.”We knew this was going to happen, I mean this whole time this has been going on we’ve been terrified.’
Ron says his father needs plasma from recovered Covid-19 patients to boost his chances of getting better, and has appealed for anyone local who can donate to do so.
Explaining the emotions he’s experienced in recent weeks, Ron said: ‘We were horrified. People couldn’t believe that they took it to a family member.
‘But now, we’re holding on together.’
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced he was pausing reopening plans on Thursday amid record coronavirus diagnoses in the Lone Star State. Texas has seen more than 5,000 cases a day for the past two days, up from fewer than 1,500 a day last month.
Hospitals in the state’s biggest city – Houston – say their intensive care units are currently running at 97% capacity.
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