This is part of a Yahoo News series honoring some of the American lives lost to COVID-19. Their stories are told by family and friends, who were left to deal with their often sudden deaths.
Martin Addison, 44, of Waldwick, N.J., died of COVID-19 on April 29, 2020. He is one of hundreds of thousands of Americans who have lost their lives to the disease since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.
He was born in Bath, England, and moved to America at the age of 8. His wife, Pamela Addison, told Yahoo News “he had a passion for Liverpool Soccer Club,” and was “an avid guitar player and collector.”
Addison was a speech pathologist at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, where he specialized in the evaluation and treatment of patients with swallowing difficulties. Pamela says he was passionate about his job and helping his patients, but she says there was nothing that he enjoyed more than his role as devoted father to his daughter, 2, and son, 5 months.
“He was the proudest papa. He loved being a dad. From the moment Martin became a dad, he just fell into the role.” Pamela Addison said.
In late March of last year, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and just a few days before his daughter's second birthday, Addison treated a person who was “a possible COVID-19 patient,” according to his wife. A day later, she says, he came down with a cough, which followed a few days later by a fever and breathing difficulties. Addison was eventually hospitalized and after almost a month of struggle, died from COVID-19 complications. He was one of thousands of health care workers who have succumbed from the disease.
After Martin’s death, Pamela, who is a reading teacher, founded a Facebook support group called Young Widows and Widowers of Covid-19. Members of the group connect with others who have lost their spouse and are struggling as single parents.
“Suddenly more women were like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is my story.’ I thought I was all alone. … So that’s why I created the group, because we need to come together and support each other and help each other navigate this unexpected journey we’re on.” Pamela said.
Read more from Yahoo News: