Fresno family left heartbroken after father, son die of COVID-19 within hours of each other

'(The coronavirus) literally knocked on our door, came inside and took two of our loved ones.'
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno family was left reeling after suffering a devastating loss this week.

Two family members died suddenly after being infected with COVID-19.

Jason Poulter said of his uncle, Thomas Martinez, "He was a light. Everyone wanted to be around him."

When the 57-year-old Martinez contracted the coronavirus a week ago, he had to be taken to the ICU at St Agnes Hospital.

Poulter explained, "This COVID really ravaged him. He couldn't get his oxygen levels up enough for them to really do anything with him."

Martinez lost his brief battle with the virus Saturday evening but Poulter described his uncle as a fighter. "He fought through diabetes. He fought through a heart surgery a few years ago."

Eight hours after Martinez died, his 33-year-old son Andrew Martinez Garcia would also pass away. He too had COVID though his best friend didn't think his symptoms were serious.

M. Hernandez, Andrew's best friend, said, "Calling his wife and then finding out he passed on, my heart dropped. It was almost like someone took a cinder block after Tommy passed away and put it right on my chest, I just couldn't breathe."

Poulter added, "When he heard his dad passed he was in utter shock. I truly believe he died of heartbreak."

Thomas and Andrew were always together - fishing, watching LA Ram and Dodger games and cooking for family.

Hernandez said, "The fact I can't talk to him anymore, both of them, hurts a lot."

COVID has left a large void in the close-knit family.

Poulter said, "It literally knocked on our door, came inside and took two of our loved ones."

The family has now started a GofundMe page as they must suddenly plan two burials.

Poulter said, "The weight of trying to bury two people, I'm not gonna lie, it's expensive."

But family members said they will give the inseparable father and son a proper goodbye.
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