One year later, family mourns loss of 41-year-old father due to COVID-19

Posted at 8:46 PM, Mar 23, 2021

We're learning more about an Acadiana man who was one of the first in the region to die from COVID-19.

Roderick Martinez, a father of 11 from Breaux Bridge, died from COVID-19 last March at the age of 41 years old.

One year after his death, Martinez's sister says the pain of losing her brother is a daily struggle. Her message still remains that people take COVID-19 seriously.

It wasn't until his final hospital visit that his family knew it was more than the common cold.

"He said he was having trouble breathing, he was struggling. By that time, this was his third visit to the emergency room and they had finally admitted him and they ended up keeping him up until the day that he passed away,” said his sister, Jalyne Landry.

Because of COVID restrictions at that time, Landry says her family was not able to grieve.

"Traditionally, you get to say goodbye, you get to see your loved one and we didn't get that. We were told that he had to be cremated, we didn't have an option. His body was taken and that was it. We received his ashes a couple of days later, so that was the most difficult part,” said Landry.

The silver lining for Landry is being able to reminisce on the memories.

"We have been extremely blessed to find so many videos and pictures. My brother loved social media so he captured a lot of videos and I can still hear his voice. Not everyone is as fortunate."

Prior to his death Martinez was planning to start his own trucking business. His son, Tyrese Alexander, started Big Ro's Trucking in his honor.

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