Coronavirus deaths hit hard in health care community

MIAMI, Fla. – One was a radiology technician, the other a therapist who helped patients with breathing.

The front-line health care workers are two more huge losses to the South Florida community as a result of the coronavirus.

Devin Francis had just celebrated his 44th birthday a was engaged to be married in a couple of months. The radiology technician in Jackson Memorial Hospital’s emergency department died Wednesday of complications of COVID-19.

Jorge Mateo, who was a longtime respiratory therapist at Coral Gables Hospital, also lost his life after becoming infected with the virus.

“As a respiratory therapist at Coral Gables Hospital for more than four decades, the loss of Jorge Mateo is felt throughout our entire community,” the hospital said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved member of our staff, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”

The union representing workers like Francis called him a dedicated public servant and frontline warrior at Jackson.

Francis’ little sister, reached over social media, said she and his fiancé are too distraught to talk.

“Devin was a dedicated radiology technician in Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department for more than a year," a hospital spokeswoman wrote in a statement. “He will be greatly missed by his colleagues and by the health system.”

Devin Francis (WPLG)

On Wednesday, the local health care community also lost longtime gynecologist Luis Caldera-Nieves, who died from COVID-19 complications.

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