A hair studio owner and his husband in Live Oak, Texas passed away just hours apart from each other after succumbing to COVID-19 earlier this month.
Phillip Tsai, 42, owner of Extreme Opulence Hair Studio and a member of Live Oak’s Economic Development Corporation, died of a coronavirus-related heart attack on April 12.
Shortly after, his husband, Anthony Brooks, 52, an Air Force veteran and Live Oak councilman, passed on the night of April 14.
The couple reportedly lived in Live Oak’s Bridlewood subdivision with Tsai’s mother, Pacita, who also contracted COVID-19.
Tsai and Brooks first met at a friend’s party in Houston. They married in San Francisco on March 29, 2014.
Tsai’s brothers said that the series of unfortunate events started in mid-March when Brooks returned feeling sick from a conference out of town. Days later, Tsai started feeling ill, too.
On March 20, Tsai rushed to the emergency room with chills and body aches. He was ordered to isolate himself for 11 days.
However, Tsai was back on March 26 after vomiting blood, having shortness of breath and recording a fever of 102.9. He tested positive for the coronavirus.
Brooks, who neglected his health after his father’s death on March 12 — and his mother on Jan. 21 — only felt worse. While he visited the doctor at one point, he refused to seek medical treatment for the most part, even after his husband was diagnosed with COVID-19, according to Express News.
On March 31, Brooks was found unconscious. He was rushed to the hospital, which tested him positive for the coronavirus.
Since then, the couple battled COVID-19 together, but in separate rooms. Both were on ventilators and received Trump’s endorsed hydroxychloroquine cocktail.
Sadly, Tsai passed away after a heart attack on Easter Sunday. Brooks died shortly after.
Tsai’s mother, who has been under self-quarantine, was unable to say goodbye to her son and son-in-law.
“In our family, it was three people that got contracted COVID-19, out of those three, two died,” Tsai’s brothers, Alfred and Robert, told KABB. “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.”
Live Oak City Mayor Mary M. Dennis confirmed the couple’s death in a Facebook post last Wednesday. She paid them tribute and thanked them for their service as community leaders.
“We are forever grateful for both Anthony’s and Phillip’s service to our Live Oak Community and to our country. May God Bless their family and all who were blessed to call both men ‘friend,'” Dennis wrote.