FREEHOLD, N.J. - A New Jersey family is mourning the loss of three of its members to COVID-19, and several others remain ill.
Freehold resident Grace Fusco died Wednesday night, shortly after son Carmine Fusco died in Pennsylvania. Several days earlier, Grace Fusco’s daughter, Rita Fusco-Jackson, also died. The New York Times confirmed Grace Fusco’s death Wednesday through a relative.
In her final hours, Grace Fusco wasn’t aware her two children had died, the relative, Roseann Paradiso Fodera, told the newspaper. Carmine Fusco died Wednesday night hours before his mother at a hospital in northeastern Pennsylvania, where he lived. A relative confirmed his death, which was the first in Pennsylvania caused by the virus, to the Morning Call of Allentown.
Carmine Fusco and Rita Fusco-Jackson, who were both in their 50s, were “the most wonderful brother and sister that anybody can have,” their sister, Andriana Fusco, told the newspaper. ““They were good people. I don’t know why this is happening. They didn’t deserve this, they’re too young.”
Carmine Fusco trained horses that competed at harness racing tracks in the area. Andriana Fusco told The Morning Call that she disputed reports that the virus may have been spread through a family gathering attended by a person who’d had contact with 69-year-old John Brennan, a former harness racing trainer who worked for years at New York’s Yonkers Raceway.
Brennan, who lived in northern New Jersey, was the first person in the state to die because of the virus, on March 10.
Andriana Fusco told the newspaper her brother hadn’t been in New Jersey in the past two weeks and that she hadn’t seen him since last month. She also said other members of her family had been sickened by the virus.