19-year-old becomes full-time dad to 5 younger siblings after mom dies suddenly – he needs our support

Responsibility falls on all of us at some point in our lives. It affects us to varying degrees, often depending largely on outside influences that we have no control over.

Some people are forced to step up and accept responsibility far younger in their lives, whether that be through work or personal life, and it’s in this fire of circumstance that true character is forged.

Juan Martinez, a 19-year-old from Palmdale, knows all about that. The teenager has been left to raise his five younger siblings after losing his mother to COVID-19 earlier this year.

Credit / GoFundMe

As per reports, the Martinez family were struck down with coronavirus in August. Juan himself developed pneumonia, while his younger siblings were fortunate enough to remain asymptomatic.

Their mother, 43-year-old Brenda Martinez, however, died after battling the virus on a ventilator.

Since then, Juan has had no choice but to accept the role as family guardian and provider. He’s now urging others to take COVID-19 seriously as the country slides into a second wave.

“I hope people take their precautions because it’s no joke,” he said.

As for the loss of his beloved mother, Juan revealed there were times when he couldn’t believe it.

“At the beginning I was upset. I would cry and say, ‘no way.’ I couldn’t believe it,” he explained.

What’s more, it fell to the young man to also tell his brothers and sisters that their mother was gone.

“When I told them there was screaming, crying. I spoke to all of them and told them I’d do the best I can to raise them. I wouldn’t let anything happen to them.”

Credit / GoFundMe

Reports state that Juan has been forced to quit his job as a security guard in order to take care of his family. In his new role as full-time dad, Juan cooks, cleans and helps his siblings with their online school work.

But it’s not easy. Juan himself is still overcoming the lasting effects of his brush with coronavirus, and caring for his brothers and sisters is hard work.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Juan and his family as they try to move past what has undoubtedly been the worst year of their young lives. So far it has raised more than $18,000.

Now, with infections rising and a second wave clearly on the horizon, Juan wants to challenge the people who are saying COVID-19 isn’t dangerous.

“If people say that it’s because it hasn’t happened to them,” he said.

“But it’s real. It’s really out there. It hit us hard. I’d hate for another family to go through what we went through.”

My thoughts and prayers go out to this courageous young man and his family. Juan, you’re an inspiration, and your brothers and sisters are truly lucky to have you.

Please share this article on Facebook to show your support for Juan, and to remind others to proceed with the utmost caution regarding the coronavirus pandemic.