Family of 18 Infected With COVID-19 after Birthday Party; Seeks Blood Plasma Treatment

A family of 18 in North Texas has been infected with COVID-19 after attending a surprise birthday party, MSN reports. One of those that attended the party was infected with coronavirus without knowing, even though he was coughing, he attributed this to his construction work. He infected seven others who went home to infect 10 more. Among the infected are children, grandparents, and a woman with breast cancer.

An EMT volunteer and family member, Ron Barbosa, did not attend the party with his doctor’s wife because they feared there might be an outbreak of COVID-19 despite the social distancing kept by the partygoers. The May 30 birthday party was attended by a total of 25 people and it was organized for Barbosa’s daughter-in-law who was celebrating her 30th birthday.

He disclosed that his two children, both parents, two grandparents, and his sister Kathy who is undergoing breast cancer treatment were among the infected. Parents Frank and Carole who are in their 80s alongside everyone infected have been hospitalized, and while Kathy and Carole as well as others are faring well and recovering, Frank is in pretty bad shape and on life support with doctors saying he might need a ventilator soon.

Barbosa said the party lasted about two hours even though guests stayed for varying lengths of time. He said the physical distancing observed by the people did not seem to work since they all came down with the infection. Kathy sat outside on a porch away from the party while it was in progress, and Carole only popped in to drop something off before heading home to Frank. They were school lovers and had been married for nearly 68 years.

“When people started getting sick, we really let everyone have it,” Barbosa said. “We knew this was going to happen, I mean, this whole time this has been going on we’ve been terrified.”

Given the terrible condition of Frank, doctors said he would need COVID-19 antibodies from the blood plasma of people who recovered from the disease for treatment to boost his immunity. The doctors also warned that antibodies from former coronavirus patients are not so common and may be hard to come by, prompting Barbosa to plead for donation on Facebook and scour blood banks in the Dallas Fort-Worth area.

“My dad’s hanging on by a thread, “Barbosa begged on social media. “They’re saying this is one of the last straws for my dad. If you’ve recovered…go donate your plasma.”

Some firefighters who recovered from COVID-19 responded to Barbosa’s plea on Facebook and offered to donate their blood plasma, but doctors said they could not do so for a single individual since there is a massive shortage of the antibodies.