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Gay classical pianist becomes third guest of controversial Miami beach Winter Party to die of coronavirus

Emma Powys Maurice April 16, 2020
Winter Party

Thom Carr, 67, has become the latest Winter Party guest to die from coronavirus (Facebook/Thom Carr)

A third guest at the annual Miami Beach Winter Party in Florida has sadly died after testing positive for coronavirus.

The LGBT+ fundraiser attracted more than 10,000 queer people to Miami between March 4 and 10, just before the introduction of stay-at-home orders across the US.

Shortly after the event organisers confirmed that an attendee was diagnosed with coronavirus, and in the weeks that followed a “cluster” of guests fell seriously ill.

The latest fatality has been confirmed as Thom Carr, 67, a gay real estate agent and classical pianist from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Carr was rushed to intensive care on March 23 before passing away three weeks later. His partner J Heider, who also contracted coronavirus, shared his grief in a moving Facebook post.

“It is with overwhelming sadness that I share that our journey together has come to an end,” he wrote.

“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. Thank you for being part of our lives.”

Both Carr and his partner were renowned in local circles for their love of fantastic costumes. He is remembered for bringing “joy, music, his special creativity and talents,” to his loved ones’ lives.

Carr was a diabetic and doctors initially gave him only a five per cent chance of survival, but he fought on as long as he could.

In one of his final acts he donated his blood as part of experimental plasma treatment to help others suffering from coronavirus, and encouraged others to do the same.

He himself received a transfusion of the antibody-infused plasma on Monday, but it was tragically too late to save him.

The mayor of Fort Lauderdale, a longtime friend of Carr and Heider, paid tribute to him in the local paper.

“Our entire community will share in the remorse over his passing,” Dean Trantalis told the Sun-Sentinel. “His struggle to live equaled the passion he followed in life. He will be missed.”

A memorial in celebration of Carr’s life will be held when social distancing rules have been relaxed.

More: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Florida, Miami, Thom Carr, Winter Party

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