CINCINNATI -- The 25-year-old son of a former Cincinnati Bengal and a winning coach at Taft High School has died.
Mike Martin told WCPO his son was in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday when he suffered from shortness of breath and chest pains at work. He was then taken to a hospital where he was admitted for observation and treated him for a seizure.
At some point during the overnight hours Marcus Martin stopped breathing, his father said. Revival efforts were unsuccessful.
"Wow. I'm so lost for words. Today, my best friend, my dude, my son, passed. I'm hurting so much right now! My son Marcus was an incredible young man. He was loved by so many. He will be truly missed. I know God, family & friends will help me get through this unbelievable time. On behalf of my entire family, we want to thank everyone for the warm wishes. Please, make sure you hug, kiss & tell your kids every day that you love them. YOU MAY NOT HAVE THAT CHANCE TOMORROW!"
On Friday, the medical officials confirmed he died from a pulmonary embolism, a medical caused by one or more pulmonary arteries in your lungs becoming blocked.
Although anyone can develop deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, factors such as immobility, cancer and surgery increase your risk, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Pulmonary embolism can be life-threatening, but prompt treatment can greatly reduce the risk of death. Taking measures to prevent blood clots in your legs also can help protect you against pulmonary embolism.
Marcus played football at Taft High School under his father before going on to study at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana and Columbia College in Chicago, according to his LinkedIn profile. He later returned to his former high school to serve as an assistant football coach for nearly four years.
After some time in the Queen City, Marcus moved to the nation's capital to work with his uncle Randy at audio-visual company, according to Steven Spencer, a family friend and Mike's business partner.
Spencer said Marcus was working in the film business and his most recent project was dedicated to his best friend -- his dad.
"He went to Mike’s high school and talked to some of the teachers and Illinois, the college Mike went to, and he was going to finish up here in Cincinnati... some of the guys he played with," Spencer said. "He was trying to get it together for Father’s Day."
Uncle Randy's business was where Marcus was before being rushed to the hospital.
The news of Marcus Martin's unexpected passing may seem eerily familiar to Bengals fans who recall the 2010 death of 16-year-old Elbert Jovante Woods, the son of former running back Ickey Woods.
Jovante was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in August 2010 after suffering an asthma attack after practicing with the Princeton High School football team earlier that morning.
The Woods family told KyPost.com, Jovante went for about 30 minutes without oxygen. He was placed in the ICU at the hospital and died three days later.
Mike Martin, 53, who played with the Bengals for seven seasons in the '80s, was a former teammate of Woods and was with him at the hospital when Jovante passed away.
When Woods heard the news of Marcus' death, he told WCPO he immediately reached out to the family of his former teammate.
"I called Ickey (at 5:30 a.m.)... I woke him up, actually, this morning and... I mean, Ickey knows, he knows," Spencer said. "He said, 'Steve I’m going to call him right now.'"
Spencer said Woods was quiet at first and then he got choked up when he heard the news.
"We were all there with Jovante and now we’re going to be there for Marcus -- and it’s just living the nightmare all over again. It’s the same nightmare again."
Members of his extended Bengals family have done the same, reaching out to the Mike, a regular on WCPO's Sports Of All Sorts.
"This is a real family tragedy for Mike, and we are shocked and saddened to learn of it," wrote Mike Brown in a statement. "Mike was a fine player for us and a splendid high school coach, and over the years he has been one of our most involved and helpful alumni players. Our thoughts are with Mike and his family at this very difficult time."