A Chula Vista family is mourning the loss of a husband and father taken unexpectedly by an aggressive case of flesh-eating bacteria.
On Dec. 30, Adrian Munoz, 37, went to the doctor with flu-like symptoms. Just three days later, he was dead.
Initially, doctor's wrote Adrian's condition off as a bad case of the flu and told him he needed to rest. Blood work was done during a return trip to the emergency room and doctors discovered he had Necrotizing Fasciitis, an aggressive bacterial infection that targets tissue under the skin.
Adrian spent the next days in and out of the operating room where surgeons worked briskly to remove muscle tissue compromised by the bacteria, but they just couldn't keep up.
Adrian, the epitomal family man and revered friend and coworker, passed away on Jan. 2, leaving his wife of 12 years and two children under the age of 13 distraught over losing him in what seemed like the blink of an eye.
His mother, Julie Munoz, said the family knew he was adored by many and planned a memorial for him expecting nearly 300 people to show. Roughly 600 came.
"We have family in Mexico, we have family in Utah," Julie said. "As soon as they knew, they were here. They were here because Adrian was that kind of person that everybody loved."
When Adrian's career as Vice President and Production Manager at Pro Systems, an audio-visual production company in Sorrento Valley, didn't have him on the other side of the world, he was spending every moment he could with his family.
Teaching his kids how to surf, taking family fishing trips on his boat, coaching soccer or planning the next family trip, the list goes on.
Julie said if work took him out of town for weeks, he'd try and find a way to fly his wife out to wherever he was working for a weekend. And once he came back, he would make it a point to spend time with his wife and kids to make up for the time they lost while he was away.
His mother described him as the ultimate family man, telling NBC 7 about the time he took her to Hawaii to celebrate her retirement and the time he did the same for his father a few years later.
Adrian, who would have turned 38 on Sunday, and his family were preparing for a vacation to Bali to celebrate his birthday and that of his son who turns 12 on Wednesday. He wanted to take them to Bali, a place his career had taken him to twice, because he had fallen in love with the country and wanted his family to have the same experience.
"There's not just one thing I can tell you I'm proud of," Julie said of her son. "I'm overwhelmingly proud of my son for all he's accomplished. He was a good son, brother, father, and friend. If you could've been at his memorial service -- I've been through a lot of memorials, never one like my son's."
Adrian's coworker Matt Schwartz said that in an industry that often requires long nights, wonky hours and tiring labor, Adrian's attitude and personality were a breath of fresh air.
"We're a family and Adrian was our brother," Schwartz said. "It was heartbreaking to learn about what had happened to him."
Fellow coworker Juan Perez said Adrian made everything fun, cracking jokes and keeping it light despite being a boss.
"Every time we were at a gig and we were doing a band, he would be the first one to jump and play the drums or play the guitar," Perez said. "He'd always have fun on the stage. Whatever it was, he'd play it."