Wife of lawyer, both with coronavirus, breaks her silence to 'share some truths' about their lives now

1010 WINS Newsroom
March 08, 2020 - 4:20 pm
Adina and Lawrence Garbuz

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NEW ROCHELLE (1010 WINS) – Days after her family became the focus of a coronavirus cluster in Rockland County, the wife of a lawyer who contracted the virus released a statement about how the news has impacted their lives.

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Adina Garbuz posted the message to Facebook. She is the wife of 50-year-old Lawrence Garbuz, who works in Manhattan. Both of them contracted the coronavirus, as did their two children—one a Yeshiva University student.

Adina Garbuz said when she found out her husband was positive, “I immediately recognized there was going to be pandemonium all around us.” She said her family moved quickly to stop the spread of the virus.

The Garbuz family belongs to the Young Israel of New Rochelle temple. Rabbi Reuven Fink is among dozens of confirmed cases of the virus in Westchester. The county has by far the most cases in the state—82 of the 105 confirmed cases.

Many members of Fink's congregation were asked to self-quarantine last week after the hospitalization of Lawrence Garbuz, who was still in critical condition Sunday.

Since then, a growing number of friends and relatives of the lawyer have tested positive. The cases include a person in New York City, three members of the congregation, two friends, two people in nearby Rockland County who worked at a bat mitzvah at the synagogue and three cases related to the lawyer's initial hospitalization in Westchester.

Read the statement from Adina Garbuz:

Dear all,

I am speaking to you wearing two hats- as wife of Lawrence Garbuz and as partner of our law firm, Lewis and Garbuz, P.C. We would have preferred this all remain private but since it is no longer, I wanted to at least share some truths and allay people's fears. Other than Lawrence no one else in my family has been sick other than a slight cough.

When I was first informed of the positive result, I and my entire family immediately provided any and all information to several Departments of Health well into the wee hours of the night in hopes of letting this all be contained as quickly as possible for all of us. We all together pray and hope for the safety and good health of everyone. My family has continued to provide all information requested to best assist in curtailing this epidemic.

As for my husband, while he still remains critical, I and my family remain very hopeful of his full recovery. He is a tenacious person in all aspects of his life and I know he will come out of this strong. He is a very caring hardworking person who constantly cares for his clients and those around him over himself. I think it is from this that he was run down and susceptible to the illness he acquired. So, I ask all of us who are running on the hamster wheel of life, particularly us New Yorkers, to learn from this and take a moment to take care of yourself. We should use this an opportunity to re-calibrate and de-stress. Nothing can be more important than our health.

From a young child, all Lawrence has ever wanted to be was a lawyer that worked hands on helping people. He is a brilliant attorney who is particularly sensitive to his clients but whose expertise is coming up with creative solutions to trusts and estates issues such as planning for those with disabilities, family disputes, tax issues and the like. He is admired by many judges for the same reason. He is a mentor to many in his field and spends much of his day answering colleagues' questions. Yet, he is a very humble person who never touts his many successes in his professional world. You would never hear this from him. I only share this now as so much is being said about him already.

As for our law firm, Lewis and Garbuz, as soon as I was made aware of the diagnosis, I personally immediately contacted everyone in our firm and all were quarantined. All have been working remotely ever since. No one is commuting into the Manhattan office and no one will be until we have clearance to do so.

I would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank all of you for the outpouring of love from literally around the world and in particular members of my community who in their own way, many but not all of whom are under quarantine, are living this surreal life with us. We have wonderful friends who have cared for us despite the running fears all around us. They know who they are and we are ever grateful to them. It is my understanding that community members have been respectfully complying with health department orders to stay in. Special arrangements are being made for virtual religious services so those can remain at home as mandated.

I want to thank those who helped us get the best care possible by working their channels to get Lawrence moved to Columbia ICU where the medical care and personal sensitivity has been exemplary.

Lastly, when I first heard that Lawrence was positive, I immediately recognized there was going to be pandemonium all around us. Other than offering what I could to stop this from spreading further, all I and my family care about is that my husband/ their father get better. We shuttered the windows, turned off the internet and together stayed strong and in good spirits. I am incredibly blessed that my children while still relatively young have the wisdom to know to keep their heads clear and focus only on the important, the health of their dad and those around us.

Thank you all for your positive thoughts and prayers- I believe it is what will get us all through this trying time. I beg you all to stay calm and keep out of the hoopla. Be smart with good hygiene and know this too will pass.

Good wishes and positive thoughts for us all!

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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