An Ohio woman who survived cancer has died of COVID-19 after contracting the illness from an infected friend who hid the diagnosis to play cards at a social gathering, the woman’s grieving family claims.
Barb Bartolovich, 82, a blood cancer survivor, was vaccinated and took the necessary precautions, including only socializing with like-minded people amid the pandemic, WXYZ reported.
She decided to get together with friends to play cards and asked everyone beforehand if they were vaccinated, according to the outlet.
They all said they were inoculated — but her family claims one of them lied.
“Somebody decided that testing positive for COVID is something they can hide,” Bartolovich’s granddaughter Lauren Nash told WXYZ. “The only way we found out is that the person owned up after Nana got sick.”
Bartolovich was hospitalized, placed on a ventilator and died on Dec. 21, according to the report.
“She was just everything to everyone. As everyone says, if you knew Barb, you were loved. She was taken too soon,” said Nash, who wants to spread the message about the importance of safety meaures.
“It is not worth it. It is not worth knowing you hurt someone, potentially hurt someone, or killed someone because you want to go out and have fun,” Nash told WXYZ.
“I am just horrified at where we are and what is going on, that we are not taking into account people’s lives,” she added.
Bartolovich, who lost her husband Frank “Moose” Bartolovich in 2014, “cherished her role as a wife, mother and grandmother,” according to her obituary on WKBN.
“A little firecracker, Barbara was always raring to go for family gatherings, vacations and impromptu outings. She was their support system throughout life and she taught them many lessons,” the obit says.
“Barbara’s motto was, ‘There is nothing so bad in life that can’t be fixed,’” it continues.
“She was considered cool and fun to her grandchildren and they described her as ‘to know her was to love her and to be loved by her was the most special feeling in the world. She made every one of us feel special in her own Nana way,’” it adds.
Bartolovich left behind her four children and 10 grandchildren.