A hero of the 9/11 New York terror attacks has died from coronavirus just 12 days before his brother also died from the disease.
The double tragedy saw Ralph and Nicholas Gismondi, originally from Queens, New York, die of the illness.
The pair were ‘big family men,’ according to CNN which added that they were so beloved that neighbours posted banners praising them when they died.
Ralph Gismondi, 68, had helped to rescue victims of the Al-Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center.
Ralph Gismondi, 65, who died of coronavirus just 12 days before his brother Nicholas did
He held the rank of captain in the FDNY and he was one of the first from the department to respond to the 2001 terror attacks.
Upon retiring he worked as a flight attendant on JetBlue airlines, based at JFK Airport. He began to suffer from a cough, fever and shortness of breath on March 17.
Then two days later both he and his wife Ann, who he had known since they were teenagers, tested positive for the virus.
Ralph died of complications because of covid-19 on April 5.
Ann Gismondi told CNN: ‘I could not have a funeral for him. I did not have, you know, that closure. It was just a freaking nightmare.’
Nicholas Gismondi, 65, did not learn of his brother’s death until he himself was in hospital with the virus.
Nicholas, known to friends as Poppi, was a very good baseball player when he attended Monsignor McClancy High School.
Nicholas Gismondi, 65, who was pillar of the community in Westlake, New Jersey. Pic from Facebook
Nicholas Gismondi, centre front, with family and friends who has died of coronavirus
He then went onto study accountancy and relocated to Westfield, New Jersey, 30 years ago. He became a pillar of the community and earned the nickname ‘Mr Nick.’
Christopher, his son, told CNN that his dad was ‘someone who always wanted to turn life’s lemons into lemonade.’
Nicholas’ wife, Mary Jane, added: ‘Volunteerism and giving back to the community were very important to him.’
The couple began to suffer from coronavirus symptoms on March and they were then diagnosed in hospital.
Then just 18 days later, less than two weeks after his brother Ralph died of coronavirus, Nicholas too succumbed to it.
They are survived by their parents Nicholas, 96, and Josephine, 93, and a sister.