Parents of late Fox San Antonio anchor die of coronavirus

Candice Avila-Garcia, mySA/San Antonio Express-News

Updated

3:34 pm CDT, Friday, July 10, 2020

The parents of late San Antonio anchor Karen Martinez died from COVID-19 complications, according to a report by Fox San Antonio.

The parents of late San Antonio anchor Karen Martinez died from COVID-19 complications, according to a report by Fox San Antonio.

Photo: KABB

The parents of late San Antonio anchor Karen Martinez died from COVID-19 complications, according to a report by Fox San Antonio.

The parents of late San Antonio anchor Karen Martinez died from COVID-19 complications, according to a report by Fox San Antonio.

Photo: KABB

Parents of late Fox San Antonio anchor die of coronavirus

The parents of late San Antonio anchor Karen Martinez died from COVID-19 complications, according to a report by Fox San Antonio. 

In an interview with Fox San Antonio reporter Yami Virgin, Martinez’s oldest son, Josh Herrera, said the passing of his grandparents was sudden. 

“It was not expected at all,” he said.

READ ALSO: FOX-29 anchor Ernie Zuniga speaks out after scary encounter at H-E-B during coronavirus pandemic

Herrera told Virgin that his grandfather, Antonio Martinez, was in his 80s and a Vietnam vet who was still in pretty good health. His wife Tonie, in her 70s, enjoyed being active.

“My grandma would go bowling, she’d go shopping and stuff,” Herrera said.

According to the report, Antonio was only in the hospital for about 24 hours when he died two weeks ago. Tonie was immediately put into isolation, but she also contracted the virus and needed to be put on a ventilator. She died Wednesday.

“They both are very healthy,” Herrera told virgin. “Never did I have any inkling that I thought they were sick or coming down with anything, and I visit them quite often.”

Virgin, an investigative reporter, was close with Karen while working together at Fox San Antonio. She told mySA in a phone interview that she was stunned to learn the news about Karen’s parents. 

“When I found out about it, I was floored. I was completely floored because they took her dad in and then within 24 hours he had passed away,” Virgin said. “And then Tonie went in and they were like ‘she’s in the ICU’ and next thing I know she is on a ventilator.”

Virgin said, because of her faith in God, she believes Karen and her parents are together again.

“Can you imagine that reunion when they were able to be back together?” she said. “Being a person of faith, that for me is comforting.”

Karen lost her battle with breast cancer in 2013. Her passion to help others with cancer continues through a GoFundMe account in her name with the goal to raise $200,000, which will be donated to the ThriveWell Cancer Foundation.

“There are 2 million people in San Antonio, if every person donated 10 cents, we would raise $200,000,” Virgin said. 

Karen also founded the Healing Hearts Gala, which also helps cancer patients. The event is scheduled in November, but organizers may need an alternate fundraiser if social distancing measures continue in response to the pandemic.

On Friday, Virgin took to Facebook live to share more devastating news, one of her dearest childhood friends, who served in the military, passed away from cancer.

“He found out two weeks ago he had cancer. He only had two weeks to spend with his family,” she said in the video.

Virgin once again urged viewers to donate to the ThriveWell Cancer Foundation, even if it’s just ten cents by every person in San Antonio. 

“Yet again I am asking, I am begging, I am imploring you, if you’re listening right now – ten cents. That’s all I’m asking for,” Virgin said. “If we can get everyone in San Antonio, two million people to donate, we raise $200,000. Every cancer patient gets a grant of $2200 that goes towards doctor copays, for the rides, for the testing, and for surgery. It goes directly to help them.”

Candice.Garcia@express-news.net | Twitter @_candicegarcia


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