Thom Carr, a 67-year-old real-estate agent and classical pianist from Fort Lauderdale, has become the third person to die from coronavirus after attending the Winter Party Festival in Miami Beach in early March.
“It is with overwhelming sadness that I share that our journey together has come to an end,” Carr’s husband, J. Heider, wrote Wednesday on Facebook. “For now, the parties, the cruises, the costume planning and trips together have come to an end. My memories from 35 years together, however, will never end. Over the years and especially at this terrible time for the world, Thom brought us joy, music, his special creativity and talents. For that we can be grateful.”
Heider also tested positive for COVID-19 but has recovered, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. Carr, a diabetic, spent three weeks in an intensive-care unit after being admitted to the hospital on March 23.
Carr was an accomplished pianist whose 2014 album, Broadway & Beyond, received rave reviews, according to the Miami Herald. Here’s a demo he posted to YouTube:
At least 38 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 after attending the weeklong fundraiser for the National LGBTQ Task Force that is among the nation’s largest annual gay parties. In an interview with NBC 6, Heider reflected on the couple’s decision to attend the event, which ran from March 4-10.
“I think that we were operating under the guidance of our leadership at that time, the president, the governor, other people were saying go about your lives, live your lives. At that time they were saying it’s no worse than the flu,” Heider said.
Earlier this week, a New York Times article also linked the outbreak of COVID-19 cases among Winter Party Festival attendees to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ delay in shutting down the state.
“Weeks before Florida ordered people to stay at home, the coronavirus was well into its insidious spread in the state, infecting residents and visitors who days earlier had danced at beach parties and reveled in theme parks,” the Times reported. “Only now, as people have gotten sick and recovered from — or succumbed to — Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has the costly toll of keeping Florida open during the spring break season started to become apparent.”
Israel Carreras, a 40-year-old Uber and Lyft driver from Miami, became the first Winter Party Festival attendee to die from coronavirus on March 26. Carreras was also the first COVID-19 fatality in Miami-Dade County. Ron Rich, 65, who had volunteered at the Winter Party Festival, died a few days later.
Watch NBC 6’s report below.