March 19, 2020
A GoFundMe page has been created to help a New Jersey family that has suffered three deaths from the coronavirus and currently has four more family members hospitalized with COVID-19.
Allen Zak, the creator of the fundraiser, said that the campaign is intended to cover medical and funeral expenses, as well as future financial hardships.
“This is a family that always cared and was there for others and now they need us to be there for them,” Zak wrote. “The Fusco family needs your thoughts and prayers during these hard times and any amount of donation would be greatly appreciated.”
The campaign is seeking to raise $50,000. After its first day, it already had raised more than $15,000 from 250-plus donors.
Six members of the Fusco family were admitted to CentraState Medical Center in Freehold last week with coronavirus infections. On Friday, Rita Fusco-Jackson died at age 55.
Rita's brother, Carmine Fusco, 55, died Wednesday morning at St. Luke's University Hospital in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the state's first death attributed to COVID-19. Hours later, their mother, Grace Fusco, 73, died at CentraState.
Four family members remain hospitalized at CentraState, three of whom are in critical condition, a cousin and family lawyer told the New York Times. Other members of the family are being quarantined. At least 19 family members have been tested for the coronavirus, a family member told NJ Advance Media.
“It’s completely devastating," cousin and family lawyer Roseann Paradiso Fodera said. "They will need the faith they’ve always embraced to get them through this overwhelming shock and profound grief.”
The three deaths and four hospitalizations are connected to the first fatality in New Jersey due to COVID-19, a man in Bergen County, state officials told NJ Advance Media. Family members were exposed to the virus at a gathering with the man, who was a friend of Carmine Fusco.
There have been 742 positive cases of the coronavirus and nine deaths due to COVID-19 in New Jersey as of Thursday. There are currently 74 people under investigation.
Bergen County, with 195 cases, has the most of any county. In Monmouth County, where CentraState is located, there are 43 cases of COVID-19.