A traditional large family dinner turned deadly for a New Jersey family as the coronavirus spread after the gathering— matriarch Grace Fusco, 73, died on Wednesday after her two eldest children died earlier.
Fusco’s eldest child, Rita Fusco-Jackson, 55, of Freehold, N.J., died Friday; Fusco’s eldest son, Carmine Fusco, of Bath, Pa., died on Wednesday, Paradiso Fodera, the family’s lawyer who is Fusco’s cousin and is serving as a spokeswoman, said in the New York Times report.
Four more of Fusco’s children with the coronavirus remain hospitalized, three of them in critical condition, Fodera said.
“A party to most people was a regular dinner to them,” Fodera said, adding Grace Fusco had 27 grandchildren.
The New York Times reported on the large family with roots in the local horse racing industry:
Nearly 20 other relatives are quarantined at their homes, praying in isolated solitude, unable to mourn their deep collective loss together.
But the virus’s devastating toll on a single family is considered as rare as it is perplexing.
“They’re young and they don’t have any underlying conditions,” Fodera said.
The family has deep ties to the horse-racing industry near Freehold Raceway. Some trained horses. Others raced them. The children’s father, Vincenzo L. Fusco, did both, according to his obituary.
A person who had contact with a man who died in New Jersey on March 10, becoming the state’s first coronavirus-related fatality, had attended a recent Fusco family gathering, the state’s health commissioner, Judith M. Persichilli, has said.
According to a New York Times database, five New Jersey residents have died from the virus which has infected an estimated 427 people in the state.
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