"I thought that everything was going to be fine,” Tony Green, who hosted the event, told local news outlet WFAA. “We’re not even really going out. We’re just spending time together. Hanging out at the house. Grill, you know.”
Green hosted the simple family gathering of six people at his home in Dallas in June when the statewide restrictions were lifted. Days after that barbeque, several members of the family, including Green, felt ill.
"My partner was sick. My mother and father were sick. And we’re like, I hope this isn’t what it is,” Green told WFAA.
Fourteen members of Green’s family have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past month. Green’s mother did not survive, while his father-in-law, Rafael Ceja, is currently hospitalized with pneumonia related to COVID-19 and is on a ventilator, WFAA reported.
"Family needs a lot of prayers – and wisdom. His doctors want to discuss options with the family. I do not yet know what that means, but when I hear that I don't like it. God be with us," Green wrote on a GoFundMe that he created to raise money for Ceja's medical bills.
Green in the interview stated that Ceja and his wife, along with his mother, traveled to Austin, where he said the coronavirus also hit the homes of other relatives.
Green admitted to WFAA he was skeptical at first about the coronavirus but has since changed his tune.
“It’s not real until it becomes personal,” Green told the media outlet.
"This is not just a virus that’s dangerous,” he continued. “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's telling his story to help spread awareness about the dangers of the novel coronavirus.
"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.
As of Monday, Texas is among the top 10 states with total coronavirus deaths at 5,038 lives lost to the virus. In the last seven days, there have been 56,626 reported cases. The United States has over 4,225,687 cases, according to the CDC website.