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1 dies after 14 Texas family members test positive for COVID-19

The family says one member has died, another is on life support, and several others are in various stages of recovery from novel coronavirus.

DALLAS — The coronavirus pandemic has affected many families in different ways. The past month has been especially tough on Tony Green and his family.

"It’s not real until it becomes personal,” Green said.

Fourteen members of Green’s family tested positive with COVID-19 over the past month. His father-in-law, Rafael Ceja, is currently in the hospital on a respirator with COVID-Pneumonia.

"He started getting sick on June 13,” Green said. 

When statewide restrictions were lifted in June 2020, Green organized a small family gather of about six people at his Dallas home. He admits, at the time, he was extremely skeptic about the novel coronavirus.

"I thought that everything was going to be fine,” Green said. “We’re not even really going out. We’re just spending time together. Hanging out at the house. Grill, you know.”

Within days, Green said he became ill. He said he felt weird and couldn’t sleep. 

Days later, other relatives were also coming down with symptoms.

"My partner was sick. My mother and father were sick. And we’re like, I hope this isn’t what it is,” Green said.

Ceja, his wife, and his mother traveled to Austin. The virus also hit relatives’ homes in that city. 

On a GoFundMe page Green and members of the family set up, he said Ceja and his mother were hospitalized at the same time. They were in neighboring rooms and didn’t know it. 

Unfortunately, Green's mother didn’t survive her battle with the virus. The family is praying Ceja makes it safely off life support.

"This is not just a virus that’s dangerous,” Green said. “It’s extremely contagious. For 14 family members to all catch it within a matter of days from one another. You don’t want your family in this situation. You don’t want to see a loved one imagining in your head, but see them hooked up on life support. See their body just laying there.”

Green said he is speaking out on behalf of the family to spread awareness about COVID-19. He's hoping the coming days will be less overwhelming for Ceja and the family.

"I’m hoping that hearing our story, and the horrific details of what we’ve been through, would make somebody like me second guess it,” Green said.

Click here if you would like to donate to help pay for the family's medical bills. 

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