Remembering Armando J. Rodriguez, dedicated caregiver and family man
Armando J. Rodriguez, an imaging aide at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital, died of COVID-19 earlier this month.
Known by colleagues as “The Candyman” for his generosity, Armando contracted COVID-19 in July and never fully recovered. He is survived by his five children, 11 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
“COVID took a toll on him and he was never the same,” his daughter Irene said. “He suffered extreme fatigue and was unable to walk without using a walker. He was back in the hospital again and ultimately was discharged November 5 to come home to the family, where he passed the following day.”
Armando’s children described him as “a great dad,” who baked peanut butter cookies and watched cartoons with them. “He taught us how to love and build a caring family,” they said.
Josh Jesus, who worked with Armando at Fountain Valley, described him as always friendly and willing to help. “He always checked in to see if I needed anything,” Jesus said. “Of course, he always had some candy to give out! Armando was easy to work with and had a great work ethic, not much more you can ask from a fellow employee. He will be missed.”
When Armando informed his supervisors in July that several of his family members had come down with COVID-19, they instructed him to continue working. Ultimately, Armando did contract the virus, and because of Fountain Valley’s lax safety protocols, several of his colleagues were unnecessarily exposed.
In response, NUHW members at Fountain Valley organized protests demanding a safer work environment. They also blew the whistle on the hospital to the California Department of Public Health, which cited it for “systemic” violations.
Armando is the second NUHW member to die from COVID-19. Roda Vicuna, a nurse at Kindred Hospital Brea, died earlier this year, after contracting the virus on the job.
Armando’s family has started a GoFundMe page where donations can be made to help pay for funeral expenses. NUHW has made a contribution. If you also wish to donate, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/armando-j-rodriguez