"I had to save money right away so I worked every possible over time I could so I could save money to pay the doctor. The doctor cost me a hundred dollars the hospital cost me a hundred and eleven dollars," said Hernandez.
Hernandez is now the father of 6, one deceased; grandfather of 15; and great-grandfather of three. Earlier this month, Hernandez was honored by his coworkers at Borg Warner Transmissions Systems in Frankfort for hitting half a century there.
"Borg Warner has a long and rich history in the Chicago land area but this is the first time I've heard of somebody celebrating 50 years with the company," said Matt McConahy, human resources manager. "It's quite an amazing feat."
Hernandez was 18 when he started at Borg Warner. Since then, he's worked under 7 CEOs.
Hernandez now works as a maintenance mechanic repairing production machines that break down.
"I love my job because you never do the same thing twice. You're always doing different things. Today I'm repairing a piece of equipment. Tomorrow I'm making some kind of a guard. Today we're painting. There's always something different to do in this place," said Hernandez.