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Flu takes Macon County Pastor's Life--Mikayla Lewis

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LAFAYETTE, Tenn.--A Macon County family is mourning the loss of Johnathan Martin, and also warning others about the virus that took his life.

Martin's family says the 36-year-old was perfectly healthy until the first week of December. Martin came down with a fever and cough. He was placed in several hospitals.

While the holidays bring many families together, the timing of his death could not be worse.

Johnathan's wife, Andrea Martin said, " My girls were so looking forward to Christmas. My oldest daughter Jayden,  who is 8 said 'I don't even want Christmas this year until dad comes home'...She said 'I just want my daddy better.'"

Martin did not get better. He died on December 22, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Martin's parents say their son developed acute respiratory distress syndrome, something related to many H1N1 flu cases.

Johnathan's father, Johnny Martin explained, " They came back and said yeah that's what it is swine flu...H1N1 it's a terrible thing to see."

It is something even harder for Andrea, a physicians assistant of 10-years to see her husband go through.

The Martin's are now encouraging anyone eligible to get the flu shot. The state health department says as of last week there were 40 patients with swine flu and nearly 6,000 other cases of the flu in Tennessee.

Andrea Martin said, " I wouldn't want  another person in this world, not my worst enemy to go through this. It has torn my heart."

Johnathan's mother, Shirley Martin said, " He loved to help people. He was a great son."

Martin was also a forklift operator and pastor of Willette Christian Church.

Andrea Martin added, " I couldn't have asked for better and I don't know what I am going to do the rest of my life. I'll just try to go where God leads me."

Johnathan Martin's funeral is Friday, December 27th at 1:00 p.m. at the Willette Christian Church. Memorial contributions to help Martin's wife and daughters can be made at Macon Bank & Trust: 609 Red Boiling Springs Road, Lafayette, TN --(615)-666-2121.

Donations can be made to the " Andrea Martin Special Account."

Follow Mikayla Lewis on Twitter @MikaylaFox17

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