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COVID-19: Bergenfield Woman Recovering Loses Husband, Brother Days Apart To Coronavirus

From left:  Luis Velasquez, Jr., 79, Jesus Villaluz, 75, and Violeta Velasquez, 79. Violeta lost her husband Luis and her brother Jesus days apart.
From left: Luis Velasquez, Jr., 79, Jesus Villaluz, 75, and Violeta Velasquez, 79. Violeta lost her husband Luis and her brother Jesus days apart. Photo Credit: Jenner De Guzman

A Bergenfield woman recovering from coronavirus returned home after a hospital stay left to mourn two family members: Her brother, a beloved Holy Name Medical Center worker, and her husband.

Violeta Velasquez was discharged from Holy Name on Thursday, April 2. She was taken there by ambulance March 25, the day before her husband Luis Velasquez, Jr. died.

Then, on April 3, Violeta's brother Jesus Villaluz -- who worked in Holy Name's patient transport unit for 27 years -- passed away.

All three tested positive for COVID-19, according to Violeta's son, Jenner De Guzman told daily Voice.

"We were not ready to lose anybody," said De Guzman, a member of the Ridgefield Volunteer Ambulance Corps, teary-eyed. "No one is prepared to lose anyone."

It all began for the family on March 20. Luis, 79, had been living in a New Milford nursing home and was on dialysis with kidney failure. He had a fever that week, though, so dialysis was out of the question.

Luis, who spent his career working in HUMC's medical records department, ended up in the hospital on March 21.

The family was later informed that he was coronavirus-positive. He died four days later, De Guzman said.

On March 25, his wife Violeta was taken to Holy Name Medical Center with coronavirus symptoms. Four days later, Jesus was also admitted.

Violeta -- who formerly worked in the library at HUMC -- was discharged last Thursday. The next day, her brother died.

There were 34,124 coronavirus cases in New Jersey Saturday, including 846 deaths.

Villaluz, 75, was honored by Gov. Phil Murphy during Saturday's briefing.

"His coworkers remembered the time he won a 50-50 raffle," Murphy said, "and instead of keeping it for himself, he shared it with his colleagues. We join his family and everyone he touched in mourning his passing."

Holy Name Medical Center remembered Villaluz for his "unforgettable smile."

"He was so generous, that after winning a 50-50 raffle, he gave all the money to his coworkers. Jesus and his unforgettable smile will be deeply missed."

HNMC

Gov. Murphy remembers Jesus Villaluz.

NJ Office of the Governor

Violeta, meanwhile, is recovering at home on oxygen, according to her son, who is in self-quarantine with his wife on the second floor of their two-family home.

"My mom is getting better and hopefully keeps going in that direction," he told Daily Voice.

"My message for everyone is to just stay safe, pray that maybe we find a cure for this virus. "Stay home and stay safe. That's all."

De Guzman thanked the staff at Holy Name Medical Center for caring for his family.

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