NJ EMT, 24, dies from COVID-19 complications
EMT Kevin Leiva, who worked in North Bergen and as a supervisor at Saint Clare’s Hospital, died on Tuesday
By Laura French
POMPTON LAKES, N.J. — A 24-year-old New Jersey EMT and EMS supervisor has died from COVID-19 complications.
EMT Kevin Leiva, who worked in North Bergen and as a supervisor at Saint Clare’s Hospital, died on Tuesday, according to a statement by Saint Clare’s Health.
“Kevin’s coworkers describe him as a ‘Big Teddy Bear’ with a big smile. Always worrying about others. Kevin’s big heart made everyone feel comforted and special,” the statement read. “He was a hard worker, a leader and a loveable person ... a friend to all. He will be missed and never forgotten.”
Leiva began at Saint Clare’s in 2017, and began his EMS career at Monmouth Ocean Hospital Service Corporation (MONOC), according to NJ.com.
He is survived by his wife Marina, whom he lived with in Pompton Lakes.
A candlelight vigil for Leiva is scheduled for Friday at the Passaic EMS headquarters.
Passaic City Firefighter-EMT Israel Tolentino Jr., 33, who died from COVID-19 last week, also worked as an EMT at Saint Clare’s. Watchung Rescue Squad EMT Liana Sá, who died from the virus this past weekend, was also a previous MONOC employee.
New Jersey has been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 50,000 cases and 1,700 deaths as of Thursday afternoon, according to the state’s Department of Health.