KEY POINTS

  • The octogenarian was fully vaccinated and took all necessary precautions
  • She made sure her friends had gotten both jabs before playing cards with them
  • The friend who hid their diagnosis only confessed after the elderly woman fell sick

An 82-year-old cancer survivor from Ohio died of COVID-19 after she contracted the virus from a friend, who reportedly hid the fact that they tested positive just so they could play cards at a social gathering.

Barbara Bartolovich, a blood cancer survivor, was fully vaccinated and had taken all necessary precautions to ensure she stayed safe during the pandemic, the grieving family said, according to WXYZ.

She even made it a point to only hang out with like-minded people who were also double-jabbed, just to be on the safer side, because as a former cancer patient, Barbara had a weak immune system.

Lauren Nash from Clarkston said her grandma decided to catch up with her friends over a game of cards after making sure they were all vaccinated. But, one card player had tested positive for COVID-19 and chose not to tell anyone.

"Somebody decided that testing positive for COVID is something they can hide," Nash said. "The only way we found out is that the person owned up after Nana got sick."

The sick woman had to be hospitalized and put on a ventilator. Unfortunately, there was no coming back home for Lauren's grandma, who died on Dec. 21, 2021.

“She was just everything to everyone. As everyone says, if you knew Barb, you were loved. She was taken too soon,” said Nash.

The Omicron Covid variant has prompted US firms to get tough on vaccines and masks
The Omicron Covid variant has prompted US firms to get tough on vaccines and masks AFP / Frederic J. BROWN

The heartbroken family now hopes to spread awareness about being safe and honest, at least for the sake of others, when it comes to COVID-19. “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. I am just horrified at where we are and what is going on, that we are not taking into account people’s lives,” Nash 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.

The matriarch has also been described as "a little firecracker" who "was always raring to go for family gatherings, vacations and impromptu outings."

"She was [the family's] support system throughout life and she taught them many lessons," the obituary said. "...Barbara will greatly be missed by her family and they will carry her wonderful memory in their hearts forever."

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