Brigid Harrison and Paul Meilak

Congressional candidate Brigid Harrison, left, of Longport, with husband Paul Meilak, a retired New York City police detective who is hospitalized in New York with COVID-19.

The husband of 2nd District Democratic congressional candidate Brigid Harrison, hospitalized for 10 days with COVID-19, has been treated with convalescent plasma from a donor who has recovered, Harrison said Friday.

“His fever is gone, but he continues to have difficulty breathing,” Harrison, 53, of Longport, said of husband Paul Meilak, who remains in the intensive care unit at a New York City hospital. She is hopeful the plasma will ease his breathing soon.

“I have an increased sense of gratitude for the selflessness of people stepping forward for donating plasma,” Harrison said. “When my husband needed it, it was there for him, because someone decided to leave home and do this for a total, complete stranger.”

Meilak is a retired New York City police detective who works in security for a New York hotel. Visitation is not allowed at the hospital, so Harrison is unable to be with him, she said. But she has been talking to him on the phone.

Harrison, who normally saw him on weekends, has not seen him since March 15, when the two decided he should stop coming to Longport on weekends because of the high incidence of novel coronavirus in New York. She has no symptoms but is self-quarantining at home, she said.

“I’m hearing from people I went to elementary school with,” Harrison said, and she is grateful for their outpouring of support. “I heard from classmates from Blessed Sacrament in Margate ... and from someone I used to greet buses with at the Trop.”

Meanwhile she is still working on her congressional campaign. Since April 13, Harrison has been putting out daily responses to President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 news conferences on her Brigid for South Jersey YouTube Channel.

Harrison was widowed 10 years ago, and Meilak is her second husband. She has asked for prayers and positive thoughts for his quick recovery.

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Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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