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HERO: North Jersey Nurse Contracted Coronavirus While Working Long Hours During Pandemic

Felicisimo Omaña Luna Jr., 62,
Felicisimo Omaña Luna Jr., 62, Photo Credit: NJ Gov. Phil Murphy

A nurse who died of coronavirus over the weekend is being remembered for his dedication to both his family and his trade.

Felicisimo Omaña Luna Jr., 62, had been working at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth when he contracted the virus.

His daughter Gabrielle, also a nurse, cared for him while he was sick.

"He was one of our front-line heroes at Trinitas Regional Medical Center," said Gov. Phil Murphy during Monday's COVID-19 briefing. "We thank him for his years of service to the people in his care."

Born and raised in the Philippines, Luna came to the U.S. in 1986. He began working as a licensed medical technologist in 1991 at a nursing home in the Bronx, where he met his wife Enriqueta "Kitty" -- also a nurse.

The couple married two years later and settled in Belleville.

Luna was "determined to provide a better life for his new family," his obituary says.

And so, with three small children at home, he earned his associate's degree in nursing at Bergen Community College and later passed the Nursing Board Exam to become a registered nurse.

In 2016, Luna earned his bachelor's in nursing.

"He worked very long hours, especially during the current pandemic," his obituary reads. 

"He prided himself on never being sick a day in his life, but this awful, aggressive virus took him away from us as he desperately tried to save the lives of so many others."

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