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Sacramento man on ventilator after testing positive for coronavirus

Amber Bispo said it's hard to believe that her father, an avid skier who holds a fifth degree Taekwondo black belt, would test positive for the virus.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — James Kassis has been in the hospital for over a week unable to see his kids or his wife of 37 years. The 78-year-old Sacramento man tested positive for COVID-19 following a family vacation in Mexico that left only him suffering from the virus.

Kassis' daughter, Amber Bispo, said it's hard to believe that her father, an in shape man who is an avid skier and holds a fifth degree Taekwondo black belt, would test positive for the coronavirus.

"He is 78, but he is not your average 78-year-old," Bispo said.

Bispo said the family got back from their vacation in March, but it's unclear if Kassis contracted the virus in Mexico or after the arrived back home to Sacramento. 

Nobody else in the family showed any symptoms of the virus, Bispo said.

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Bispo said Kassis' condition continued to get worse, and he was taken to the hospital in an ambulance weeks ago and has been there since. Two days ago, he was put on a ventilator.

"He misses [his wife]. He would say that all the time, and she can't be with him," Bispo said. "It's so hard to go through this. When people say they're having a hard time being quarantined, imagine not being able to see your loved one in the hospital and having to do this alone."

Kassis' kids have been trying to find possible treatments, but with this new virus, many are still in the testing phase.

"Everything is changing every hour," Bispo said of the availablity of any cure for the virus.

"The more time we can buy my dad or anybody else that is currently suffering from this awful virus — who knows what will be available," Bispo said.

She says they will keep searching for anything that could help their dad, something they did when their mom got brain cancer three years ago and survived.

They have a long road ahead of them, but Bispo said they hope their dad will be a survivor just like their mom.

"I hope he knows how much we love him and what we would do to make sure he has a fighting chance,"  Bispo said. "It's just not his time right now."

Follow the conversation on Facebook with Ananda Rochita.



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WATCH MORE: Governor Newsom gives an update on California's response to coronavirus (COVID-19) | April 2, 2020