41-year-old Breaux Bridge father among three confirmed dead in St. Martin Parish due to coronavirus

Louisiana Network

BREAUX BRIDGE, La. (KLFY)- Three people who died from coronavirus here in St. Martin Parish were ages 89, 70 and 41-year-old man named Roderick Martinez.

News 10 spoke with Martinez’s friend, who said the father of six was healthy just two weeks ago.
Darren Benoit said he wants to remember his friend as beloved son, a father to 9 and a fiancee.

“Remember his smile. Roderick had a smile that lit a room up, and he had a laugh that if he laughed, you laughed,” Benoit said.

Benoit was going to be the minister at the upcoming wedding… but last Monday, Martinez started feeling ill.

“Within a week span, he had been in the hospital three times,” Benoit said. “The first time, they treated him as if he had the flu. The second time they gave him a different regimen to go by. the third time, they admitted him with pneumonia.”

He was tested for COVID-19. While waiting for those results, Martinez’s health declined. He was placed on a ventilator and doctors said he was heading toward kidney failure, Benoit said.

“Roderick was 41 years old, and so we’re not invincible, no matter how healthy we think we are,” Benoit said. “No matter how good we are.”

Thursday morning, Roderick’s test results came back positive for coronavirus.

Benoit said that night, his family gathered together and prayed for a miracle. Hours later, Martinez was gone. Because he couldn’t have visitors, his family couldn’t even be there to hold his hand.

“They couldn’t be with him. he was lonely,” Benoit said.

Benoit says he wants to remember Martinez and celebrate his legacy, but he also hopes his death will serve as a wake-up call to others.

“We feel as if it can’t happen to us, but we are less than six degrees of separation away from Roderick.”

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