Longtime Bethlehem community member Santos Martinez diagnosed with COVID-19 in nursing home, daughter reflects on the challenges faced by families

Written by on May 21, 2020

Longtime Bethlehem community member Santos Martinez diagnosed with COVID-19 in nursing home, daughter reflects on the challenges faced by families

By Genesis Ortega

May 21, 2020

Santos Martinez and some members of his family and friends. Photos Courtesy of the Martinez family.

There was a time when Santos Martinez would share his love of baseball and cooking with his Southside Bethlehem neighbors. 

This longtime community member has been living with Alzheimer’s for the past ten years and was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. 

WLVR Community Correspondent Genesis Ortega spoke with his daughter, Iris Martinez, about her father and coping with not being able to be with him in this difficult time.  

Thirty-plus years Santos has been making the southside of Bethlehem a better place. he was the one who would run the kitchen at church and he ran a softball league on Saturday mornings.”

When asked what it was like communicating with staff at Cedar Brook nursing home before the pandemic Martinez said she would go maybe twice a week to visit her father.

“Before the pandemic we were able to communicate via video…the person who was there taking care of him would video my mother…now we haven’t seen him for two months so we don’t know what he’s like or how he is.”

“I’ve taken for granted not seeing my dad as frequently as maybe I should have…I told myself that from now on i’m going to go there every other day to feed him…our time is numbered.”

Martinez offers words of hope for families going through similar struggles.

“I just think that is very important for families to advocate for their loved ones.”

Iris Martinez, speaking with WLVR Community Correspondent Genesis Ortega about her father Santos Martinez, and his recent diagnosis of COVID-19 in a local nursing home.


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