Health

Second member of New Jersey family dies after coronavirus diagnosis


The matriarch of a New Jersey family has become the third relative to die after she was hospitalized with the novel coronavirus.  

Grace Fusco, 73, died Wednesday night, just hours after her son, Carmine Fusco, passed away from COVID-19. 

Carmine, a horse racing trainer, died on Wednesday morning, Roseann Paradiso Fodera, a cousin and family attorney, told NJ Advance Media

His sister and Grace’s daughter, Rita Fusco-Jackson, 55, died five days ago. She had also tested positive for the virus.  

Grace Fusco (center in white), 73, died Wednesday night, just hours after her son, Carmine Fusco, passed away from COVID-19

Grace Fusco (center in white), 73, died Wednesday night, just hours after her son, Carmine Fusco, passed away from COVID-19

Grace (left) died after spending Wednesday 'gravely ill' and breathing with help from a ventilator. She also died without knowing her two oldest children had passed away before she did

Grace (left) died after spending Wednesday ‘gravely ill’ and breathing with help from a ventilator. She also died without knowing her two oldest children had passed away before she did

Carmine Fusco, a horse trainer (pictured), is the second person in a New Jersey family to die of coronavirus. He died on Wednesday at Luke's University Hospital-Bethlehem Campus, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Carmine Fusco, a horse trainer (pictured), is the second person in a New Jersey family to die of coronavirus. He died on Wednesday at Luke’s University Hospital-Bethlehem Campus, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Rita Fusco-Jackson, 55 (pictured), a religious education teacher who had been hospitalized at CentraState Medical Cneter was the first to die, on Friday. Five are still hospitalized there - four in critical condition

Rita Fusco-Jackson, 55 (pictured), a religious education teacher who had been hospitalized at CentraState Medical Cneter was the first to die, on Friday. Five are still hospitalized there – four in critical condition

Fodera said Grace died after spending Wednesday ‘gravely ill’ and breathing with help from a ventilator.

Grace died without knowing her two oldest children had passed away before she did.

Four other family members remain hospitalized at CentraState Medical Center in New Jersey, all with COVID-19 – the disease caused by the virus – and four in critical condition.

Another 20 family members are quarantined at their homes. 

Fusco-Jackson’s sister, Elizabeth Fusco, told told NJ Advance Media: ‘This has been devastating for all of us.

‘Our hearts are broken over losing our sister, Rita. We just need help in saving our family members with life-saving medication.’ 

At the time of the interview, her brother, Carmine, was in critical condition at Luke’s University Hospital-Bethlehem Campus in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, before dying on Wednesday morning. 

Fodera, the family attorney, said the situation is  ‘surreal’.

The deaths are linked to 69-year-old John Brennan (pictured), a horse trainer who was the first New Jersey resident to die of coronavirus

The deaths are linked to 69-year-old John Brennan (pictured), a horse trainer who was the first New Jersey resident to die of coronavirus

Worldwide, more than 218,000 people have been infected and more than 8,800 people have died. In the US, there are more than 9,400 confirmed cases in all 50 states and more than 150 deaths

Worldwide, more than 218,000 people have been infected and more than 8,800 people have died. In the US, there are more than 9,400 confirmed cases in all 50 states and more than 150 deaths

‘To imagine a week ago to get a phone call like this – if someone told me this story, I wouldn’t believe it,’ she told NJ Advance Media. ‘It’s inconceivable to me.’

According to Elizabeth, the victims’ sister, 19 spouses and children of the hospitalized family members are awaiting coronavirus test results.    

The deaths within the family are connected to John Brennan, 69, a horse trainer who lived in Little Ferry and was the first New Jersey resident to die after testing positive for the virus.  

Brennan had reportedly attended a recent Fusco family gathering, according to the state’s health commissioner.  

Fodera told The New York Times that the gathering was a routine dinner on a Tuesday.

That particular gathering is believed to be the source of the virus.  

Brennan was hospitalized at Hackensack University Medical Center before passing away, NJ Advance Media reported. 

He had multiple underlying health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure and emphysema, putting him at higher risk of death.

State officials says he was revived on March 9 after going into cardiac arrest, but died on March 10 after suffering a second cardiac arrest.

Worldwide, more than 218,000 people have been infected and more than 8,800 people have died.

In the US, there are more than 9,400 confirmed cases in all 50 states and more than 150 deaths.



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