A Kearny man with a love of birthdays died of coronavirus on his 30th -- nine days after the virus took his mom.
Thomas Martins, who had Down syndrome, died of the virus on April 6. His mom, Carolyn Martins-Reitz -- a graphic designer for the Archdiocese of Newark -- passed away March 28 at Clara Maas Medical Center.
Surviving them are Reitz' husband and Martins step-dad Rudy Reitz, who mourns alone with his daughter -- Martins' half-sister -- Sharon Reitz.
Carolyn and Thomas, born in Belleville, were "each other's whole word," Rudy told BuzzFeed News. The doting mom made sure her son was "healthy, loved, and stayed active."
A GoFundMe for Rudy and Sharon had raised more than $25,000 as of April 14.
Thomas reportedly reminded his family of his upcoming birthday for months before the virus. They assured him there would be a celebration. Even while he was in the hospital, Rudy said, Thomas wanted to celebrate his 30th.
And he did, thanks to officials at the Felician School, where Thomas was a member of the over-21 program.
Thomas received a birthday cake, several pizzas and was able to join a video chat where all of his friends sang "Happy Birthday," BuzzFeed reports.
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