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Surprise party in Texas leaves 18 people sick with coronavirus, grandfather fighting for his life

Texas pauses reopening as virus cases climb
Texas pauses reopening as coronavirus cases mount 03:00

A sick family member and a surprise birthday party in Texas led to least 18 people getting infected with coronavirus, including a grandfather who is fighting for life. Now, the Barbosa family wants everyone to remember to take precautions as the state is halting reopening plans because of the surge in cases.

The family gathered for a party last month to celebrate a relative's birthday. Chance O'Shel, a relative, told CBS News on Friday that eight family members have contracted the virus and at least 10 friends contracted it as well. 

"We were being a family, you know, they were getting together on a regular basis, what we typically do," he told local television station KAVU. "They were even more cautious than what they were before, but it still led to my grandma and grandpa and aunt in the hospital. You may really miss your family and you may really, really want to be with them, but there's not a worse feeling than what my family is going through right now."

Ron Barbosa, who didn't attend the celebration, told the Associated Press that his nephew unknowingly had the virus and hosted the party. The nephew had interacted with several relatives who contracted the virus and then spread it to others, he said.

His father, Frank, and his mother, Carole, were going to celebrate their 68th anniversary soon. But instead, they're focused on his health.

Barbosa had been pleading online for blood plasma donations from recovered COVID-19 patients for his father, Frank Barbosa and he eventually got it. However, the health of the elder Barbosa, who, according to O'Shel's Facebook page, is going "downhill." Nurses have called for a ventilator and feeding tube.

Frank and his wife, Carole, were going to celebrate their 68th anniversary soon. But instead, they're focused on his health. Handout

"The thing that's so hard is that he'll die in that room alone," O'Shel told KAVU. "And that's the hardest part about this virus is nobody gets to go say, 'bye.' I don't think there should ever be blame put on anyone, but it's caution. Can you get yourself to say I'm doing everything I can?"

Texas is currently experiencing a spike in both positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Texas Governor Greg Abbot said Thursday the state will pause further phases as it battles the surge. 

Abbot urged all Texans "to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask, washing their hands regularly, and socially distancing from others."

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