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Wang’s ‘Tale of Two Cities’

From David Chen, husband of Theresa Wang, who is recovering from injuries sustained in the Dec. 19 car crash that also injured Colt Brennan:

Aloha to our growing Ohana,

The past two days could be summed up in the first line of “A Tale of Two Cities.” The worst of times was Friday morning when Theresa endured the trial removal of the ventilator to see if she could breathe naturally through her tracheotomy tube. She did well for the first two hours but struggled to complete her own version of the upcoming Honolulu Marathon.

The afternoon session went slightly better and by the end of it, Theresa had worked up a good sweat. It was my pleasure to be her corner worker and towel her off as needed however it was up to the nurse to administer the extra painkillers required of the effort.

Other than the breathing exercises, Theresa’s movement on her right side has improved to the point where her “jimmy legs” have returned. When awake, she almost continually shakes her leg from side to side the way some people tap their feet when impatient.

And watch out for that right arm — although it’s in a full cast from tricep to wrist, she moves it like an offensive lineman defending Colt Brennan. Even her left side is beginning to show small signs of controlled motion. She can flex a finger, toe or quadricep on command, but only if someone asks nicely because it obviously takes tremendous effort.

Saturday morning at first glance seemed to be a continuation of Friday but quickly morphed into the best of times. Upon my arrival at Theresa’s ICU room, her bed was freshly made but vacant.

Now if the bed itself was missing, I could assume she was out of the room for a procedure but up until now, a missing patient could only mean two things to me: that she was transferred to another room or that she checked out without my being notified.

Seeing the distress all over my face, the nurse quickly directed me to the end of the hall that led to the “Habilitat,” a netted-in atrium where patients can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine of outdoors while still moments away from ICU assistance.

In there, Theresa was sitting in an upright cardiac chair as the nurses were just finishing the connections to her breath mask, IVs, etc.

Once comfortably settled in, I could see Theresa come alive with a beautiful smile as she enjoyed the open environment, taking in the greenery, blue skies and even the ants checking out this new arrival. Hopefully the weather will hold out (it’s been raining cats & dogs the past few days) so that we can share in God’s glory more often.

The other unmentioned benefit derived from moving the breathing tube from Theresa’s mouth to the trach is that she regains use of that orifice. And sure enough, less than an hour into our back-to-nature excursion, Theresa made the familiar kissy sound with her lips.

Germ transmissions be damned, I took full advantage of the situation as we enjoyed our first kiss in over three weeks. God is great!


P.S. The Hawaii Police Department released recordings of the 911 calls made Nov. 19. As expected, the situation was incredibly grim at the time and we are thankful to everyone involved in the safe rescue of all three victims. Here is a link to the article:…

— Find out more:

Habilitat Garden at The Queen's Medical Center on Oahu. (Photo courtesy of David Chen)

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