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Family frustrated after father tests positive for coronavirus again after recovering

Celebration turned to devastation for the family of a man who is battling coronavirus for the second time.

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Paul Mantheiy’s family describes him as a fighter. He started waging a huge battle at the end of March when they said the 70-year-old, with diabetes, Alzheimer's and heart problems contracted coronavirus at the Pleasant View Nursing home in Carroll County, Maryland.

“They told me to be prepared, he's not going to make it,” son Rick Mantheiy said.

”The thought of him not being able to breathe and to really struggle, it was terrifying, because we can't see him either because of all the restrictions with COVID-19, he was going to die alone,” said Ashley Mantheiy, the daughter-in-law.

But a month-long hospital stay led to recovery and according to Rick and Ashley Mantheiy, two negative tests before Paul was released and moved to Meadow Park Nursing Home in Baltimore County 12 days ago.

Then on Monday, they got the call they never expected.

“He was supposedly in isolation to protect him from other residents to now all of a sudden get infected again?” asked Rick Mantheiy.

Paul tested positive again for coronavirus. He's on oxygen, and is struggling.

“Gov. Hogan said for weeks now that they're going to do all these things to improve the quality of care at nursing homes, they have strike teams and all of these different programs in place, so why does my father-in-law have coronavirus again?” Ashley Mantheiy said.

They're concerned about resident protections at nursing homes and surprised that Paul was re-infected so quickly.

“We are seeing cases across the world of patients who've been tested and recovered from coronavirus who have ultimately been re-infected,” said Dr. Jason Farley, nursing professor and epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University.

Farley said he and other researchers are working hard to figure out how the virus antibodies work.

"We don't actually know what level of immunity, so how much antibody one develops leads to protection. And secondly, we don't know how long after an infection possible protection can last,” Farley said.

For Rick and Ashley, not being able to see Paul is horrifying. They're hoping he has enough fight left to pull through.

“The possibility of the outcome being that he'd pass away from this, you know, it's devastating,” Ashley Mantheiy said.

Sister station WBAL-TV contacted the Meadow Park Nursing Home in Catonsville on Tuesday night to ask about residents in isolation and safety protocols, but we have not yet received a response.