Cancer survivor, 82, dies from Covid after 'friend hid infection to play cards'

An 82-year-old woman who beat cancer died after allegedly contracting the coronavirus from a friend who hid the infection in order to gather to play cards.

Barb Bartolovich decided to go to a card game after all people invited said they were vaccinated against Covid-19, including herself, her granddaughter Lauren Nash said.

‘Somebody decided that testing positive for Covid is something they can hide,’ Nash told WXYZ last week. ‘The only way we found out is that the person owned up after Nana got sick.’

Bartolovich was hospitalized and put on a ventilator and died on December 21 at Mercy Health-St Elizabeth Health Center in Boardman, Ohio. She had a weakened immune system as a blood cancer survivor.

Nash was aghast that Bartolovich’s friend, whose identity was not revealed to respect privacy, took the risk of spreading the coronavirus in order to play cards.

‘I am just horrified at where we are and what is going on, that we are not taking into account people’s lives,’ Nash said.    

The granddaughter urges anyone who has Covid-19 symptoms and tested positive to ‘avoid others out of love’.

‘It is not worth it,’ Nash said. ‘It is not worth knowing you hurt someone, potentially hurt someone, or killed someone because you want to go out and have fun.’ 

Bartolovich is survived by four children and their spouses, ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, according to her obituary. She was an active church member and taught her children and grandchildren that ‘to know her was to love her and to be loved by her was the most special feeling in the world’. 

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

Bartolovich died as the US faces a surge in coronavirus cases driven by the Omicron variant. Ohio hit its record 20,598 daily Covid-19 cases on New Year’s Eve.

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