Frank Volpe loved Hoboken and its small-scale Manhattan style, as “it was just what he was looking for.” After working in his family’s NYC pizzeria for 12 years, he decided to open his own pizzeria in Hoboken called Napoli’s. Fast-forward to the present day, and the space’s uptown location has expanded to the old Grimaldi’s spot on Clinton Street from its uptown roots at 1118 Washington Street — and received several accolades including Best Pizza in Hoboken this past year in our ‘Best of’ awards. Tragically, one year ago today on March 30, 2021, Frankie Volpe, the owner of Napoli’s, passed away from a months-long battle with COVID-19.
A GoFundMe was created for Frankie during his COVID-19 treatment, which shared about his COVID-19 diagnosis and complications.
The GoFund Me shared the full progression of Frankie’s treatment and heartbreaking news of his passing this past weekend.
On January 29th Frankie tested positive for COVID19. Two weeks later on February 8th, he was rushed to the hospital with 104.6 fever and oxygen levels plummeting to the 60s. Upon arrival, the medical staff had advised he had viral pneumonia due to the virus. This virus has no cure and therefore antibiotics were not helping, and there was nothing they could do to stop the effects of the pneumonia.
His lungs and airways were so inflamed that not even air could seep through. After 2 days in the hospital, he was switched from a regular oxygen machine to a bypass oxygen machine, forcing more oxygen into his body. Eating and drinking became a struggle because he couldn’t breathe. On Valentine’s Day, his oxygen levels had once again plummeted and he was intubated. Even on a ventilator, his oxygen levels were still dangerously low. Medical staff at that time advised putting him on an ECMO machine. This machine does the job of the heart and lungs, putting oxygen into the blood and back into the body.
The medical team advised that the ECMO machine with his only chance of survival. He would not make it without it.
On February 17th he was airlifted to another hospital in Pennsylvania. This was the closest hospital with the resources needed that could take him immediately. Time was of the essence. Two days later he underwent surgery to attach the ECMO machine to his main artery.
The next 5 1/2 weeks were filled with many ups and many downs. He underwent a tracheotomy, removing the breathing tube from his throat, and 3 more visits to the OR after that. His last visit to the OR on March 22nd he experienced cardiac arrest. After 2 to 4 minutes of CPR he was brought back to us. At this time he was still on 100% capacity in settings for both the ECMO machine and ventilator.
As the days went on he suddenly took a turn for the worse on Sunday, March 28th. He had been put on and taken off of a dialysis machine to assist his kidneys. However, his liver began to shut down.
Tragically, Frankie passed away on March 30, 2021.
“Two days later on March 30th, Frankie’s heart stopped and he left us here to walk with the angels above. He will always be remembered as being an amazing father and husband, boss, business owner, brother, son, and friend. He was a bright light in this dark world. Frankie was truly an incredible human being with so much love and life within him. He was my angel, my Prince Charming, my everything. My one true love – my soulmate. My heart and soul are broken. I anxiously await the day that we can be together again. Forever loved and forever missed ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️”