DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

August 8, 2013

Jonathan Quincy Hernandez, 25


Derry, NH — Jonathan Quincy Hernandez, age 25, passed away from complications due to sickle cell anemia disease at his home in Derry, N.H., on July 31, 2013. When Jonathan was a toddler, he was predeceased by his loving father, Davis Hernandez of Derry, N.H., who also suffered from sickle cell disease.

Jonathan was born in Derry, N.H., and attended public schools in Londonderry and Derry when he was able to do so. He also attended programs sponsored by Life Visions, and was currently enjoying community support at Living Innovations in Windham, N.H., and Community Crossroads in Atkinson, N.H. In addition to his support groups, he was a cheerful employee at Market Basket in Epping, N.H.

Throughout his short life, Jonathan faced his debilitating, incurable disease with inspirational courage and constant humor. According to a close family friend, Marikaye Garnett, Jonathan had a smile that filled his whole face, and he always greeted people with hugs that were compassionate and genuine. As Marikaye recalled, “Jonathan always had stories to tell, stories that made him laugh so hard you couldn’t help but laugh along with him. He said everything was ‘hilarious.’”

While laughter helped Jonathan cope with his disease, his compassionate heart made him reach out to others. When he heard of a friend who was sick, instead of complaining about his own pain, he immediately asked how someone else was doing. When he was hospitalized at Tufts Medical Center, which was a frequent part of his life the last few years, he always encouraged other children and helped them deal with their pain and disease. Jonathan was also an enthusiastic member of YEAH (Youths Educating Adults about Health).

Despite his frequent hospitalizations, Jonathan made the most out of his life and held on to a gracious childlike innocence. He loved animals, especially reptiles, and delighted in action movies and video games. A child at heart, Jonathan treasured his fuzzy gray blanket and Sponge Bob pillow at night. However, Jonathon also had a great imagination and talent for writing. At the time of his death, he was co-writing a murder-mystery play with an unforeseen twist that no doubt would have been a great personal success for him as well as a best seller.

Jonathan leaves behind his devoted mother, Heather Hernandez Hudson of Derry, who fought tirelessly and ceaselessly throughout Jonathan’s life to get her son the help and support he needed. In addition to his mother, Jonathan will be deeply missed by his younger brother, Stefan, of Derry, N.H., and many family members from his parents’ homeland of Trinidad, including his special aunts, Marlene, Marva, Jenni, June, and Joann; Mark and Bev Hernandez of Florida; Wayne and Theresa McBurnie of New York; and close family friends, Arthur and Raymond Rimple.

The family offers its deepest gratitude to Dr. Hedy Smith and Dr. Knight of Tufts University Medical School for their compassionate care and professional treatment of Jonathan in recent years due to his sickle cell anemia. Sickle cell anemia disease affects 100,000 Americans, mainly blacks or African-Americans, and is a genetic blood disease for which there is no cure. To honor Jonathan’s life and joyful spirit, the family asks that in lieu of flowers or gifts, donations be made to the Tufts Medical Center Hematology Department, c/o Dr. Hedy Smith, 800 Washington St., Boston, MA 02111.

ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service in celebration of Jonathan's life will be private for close family and friends.