Chicago surgical tech dies from coronavirus just days before he was set to retire

Coronavirus

CHICAGO — A surgical technician, just days away from retiring from University of Illinois Hospital, died from the coronavirus on Monday.

Juan Martinez, 60, was set to retire Wednesday.

His son Juan Martinez Jr said his father wanted to travel with his wife and spend more time with his children and grandchildren.

“My dad was such a charismatic guy,” he said.

He described his father as a larger than life individual who had a firm faith. Martinez Sr. was a pastor at his church and a patriot who served in the army and then went on to serve in the Illinois National Guard where he received awards.

Martinez Jr. also worked at U of I Hospital.

“He was so proud of his role in the healthcare field, often mistaken as a doctor because he was so knowledgeable,” Martinez Jr. wrote on the 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.”

Father and son both began to feel ill in mid-April and both tested positive for COVID-19 on April 17, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Funeral arrangements for Martinez Sr. are pending.

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