A relative of the tragic New Jersey family that lost four people to the coronavirus shared a heartbreaking account of watching her loved ones suddenly perish one by one.
“My mom is one of 11, last Thursday I went to sleep having 10 aunts and uncles! Friday I woke up and found out I only had 9. Just a few minutes ago I found out I only have 8,” Gabby Cartagena, of Howell, wrote on Facebook last week. “Please hold your love ones close and cherish every second and minute you have together.”
In a follow-up post, she revealed that her 73-year-old grandmother, Grace Fusco, had also died — bringing the family’s death toll up to four.
“Now my nana too! I am so happy I gave you that kiss Sunday and tucked you into bed, I will miss you forever,” she wrote.
Cartagena’s close-knit clan, the Fuscos of Freehold, have likely been hit harder by the virus than any other family in America.
Grace Fusco — a mother of 11 — and three of her offspring Carmine Fusco, 55, Rita Fusco Jackson, 56, and Vincent Fusco, 53, died from the illness in less than a week of one another. Three of the eight surviving siblings were also hospitalized.
Along with expressing devastation over her four older relatives, Cartagena urged America to stay “Freehold strong.”
“Please everyone pray for our loved ones still fighting this horrible virus and the rest of this world to heal! We need each other during this time,” she wrote.
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