An Illinois surgery technician died from coronavirus just days before he was scheduled to retire.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Juan Martinez tested positive for this disease on April 17, after he and his son, Juan Martinez Jr., began exhibiting symptoms around his 60th birthday in mid-April. Martinez Sr., who had worked as a surgical tech for 34 years, was set to retire from the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago on Thursday, but tragically died from the virus Monday.
"He was so proud of his role in the healthcare field, often mistaken as a doctor because he was so knowledgeable," his daughter Angela Martinez wrote on the family's GoFundMe Page. "My dad is the smartest man I know. He was a great mentor to all of his co-workers and he was an extraordinary teacher."
Martinez Sr. had reportedly planned to spend his retirement traveling and spending more time with his grandchildren and wife, Martha. The couple was also nearing their 33rd wedding anniversary at the time of Martinez Sr.'s death.
According to ABC7, Angela Martinez, his wife, and 75-year-old mother-in-law also tested positive for the virus.
"He told us to smile and to have hope in life," Angela Martinez told the outlet. "'We'll get through this, chin up,' he said. 'Chin up.'"