Military veteran and his husband tragically die within hours of each other after battle with coronavirus

Husbands die just two days apart after battle with coronavirus

A US military veteran and his husband have both died within hours of each other at the same hospital after contracting coronavirus.

Anthony Brooks, a veteran and councilman for the city of Live Oak in Texas, worked at San Antonio Military Medical Center.

He died of COVID-19 on Tuesday (April 14) at the same hospital where his husband, Philip Tsai-Brooks, had died on Easter Sunday of a coronavirus-related heart attack.

Both men were remembered by the local council and by their family members in California – who are mourning the gay couple and sending a message of gratitude to the healthcare workers who tried to save them.

Philip’s mother, who lived with the couple, has also tested positive for coronavirus. She is now mourning her son and his husband alone, unable to see other family members for support as she is in quarantine.

“They traveled the world, they took my mom everywhere,” one of Philip’s brothers told local news.

“To see them, to see one or the other leave, it would’ve been devastating for them.

“In our family, it was three people that got contracted COVID-19, out of those three, two died.”

Philip’s brothers, Alfred and Robert, added a message that stressed the importance of social distancing: “You can look at the end of the day, there are two family members we will miss and will never get back.

“It’s not worth going out socializing and having that chance risking the chance of getting it.”

According to Philip’s brothers, he was the first to be admitted to hospital, having gone to the doctor a few days earlier with respiratory problems.

He was taken to intensive care and put on a ventilator, writing his final Facebook update from the intensive care unit: “Back in the ER.. oxygen super low. Heart rate low. Shortness breath vomiting blood pressure high fever 102.9. Update: I tested positive for corona. Be here for a couple of days.. then quarantine 14 day.”

Anthony, who had also been showing symptoms but was reluctant to be hospitalised, was found unresponsive by his mother-in-law and taken to hospital.

He was put in intensive care just a few wards away from Philip, who died suddenly on Easter Sunday while sitting up and talking.

Anthony died just hours later.

In a Facebook tribute written by Live Oak’s mayor, Mary M Dennis, Anthony is remembered as an “attentive” councilman who will be greatly missed.

“Councilman Brooks joined council in 2015 and was a valued and active member,” Dennis wrote.

“He served honourably in the United States Army. Anthony was dedicated and took serving on the council very seriously.

“He was always very attentive when working on the city’s budget. Councilman Brooks will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”

There have been at least 17,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Texas and 428 deaths, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Despite this, The Advocate reports that Texas governor Greg Abbott announced plans on Friday (April 17) to start reopening the economy in late April and ease some social distancing guidelines.