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Wang sits up unaided

From David Chen, husband of Theresa Wang, who is recovering at The Queen’s Medical Center from injuries sustained in the Nov. 19 car crash that also injured Colt Brennan:

Aloha to our growing ohana,

Looks like I may have sent out that last update too soon. More visitors and gifts arrived throughout the afternoon and by the end of Friday, there was a book of poems, a CD boombox and not one but two birthday cakes to enjoy, the latter of which was shared by the grateful nurses and aids of the unit as they sang Happy Birthday to me.

And Theresa wasn’t done with the gift giving either; the morning birthday kiss was an unexpected treat but she had something even more special to offer: When the OT/PT therapists came by mid-afternoon, their plan was to get Theresa into a seated position, seeing that she now tolerates being upright in the cardiac chair for hours at a stretch. They weren’t expecting too much out of this first attempt, especially as up to now, Theresa is more alert and responsive in the morning and usually sleeps away the afternoon and evening.

So what transpired when the three therapists propped Theresa up, swung her legs to dangle off the side of the bed and slowly released their support was a small miracle. At first, Theresa wavered back and forth into the therapists’ arms but after a minute, she corrected her slouch, engaged her trunk muscles and was able to remain balanced in a seated position for over five minutes; all without even opening her eyes except to check out the grinning fool at her feet encouraging her on. Yet another milestone on Theresa’s healing journey for which I give thanks to our Heavenly Father.

Saturday was a day of rest for the both of us. Theresa relaxed to the soothing cello music of Jami Sieber’s “Hidden Sky” album and the healing rhythms and chants of Nawong Khechog, a Tibetan flutist. After Friday’s full agenda, Theresa seemed more than content to while away the day in bed, and with the rehab therapists off for the weekend, that was the plan.

Now that the leg splints are off, Theresa has the freedom to flex her lower extremities as much as she wants. At one point (and I wish I could share the image but there’s a strict no-photography policy here) when Theresa crossed her legs and raised her arm to rest on her forehead, the pose was so relaxed that she wouldn’t look out of place lounging on a poolside chaise instead of a hospital bed.

Later in the day when Theresa was moved to the cardiac chair to exercise her body in an upright posture, I took the time to run some errands nearby. Only Safeway, Longs Drugs, Zippy’s and Papa John’s are within a 10-minute walk so the shopping & dining selection is limited yet suffices for the basics.

For items not available nearby like those difficult-to-find 500ml bottles of Hawaiian Springs water used for Theresa’s infusions, friends have generously answered these special requests. I continue to be thankful to our Lord for my faith in Him, and for His sending us this aid from our friends, family and even total strangers.

Today is Sunday and it’s been raining non-stop since 1 a.m., about the same time that the power went out. Fortunately the hospital has a generator but the family apartment unit does not so it became increasingly stuffy in the bedroom. Around 5 a.m. the power was restored so hopefully nothing spoiled in the fridge.

The chapel service this morning was interesting, to say the least. Last Sunday, there was a combination Christian/Jewish sermon where the chaplain discussed the commercialization of Christmas and Hannukah. This morning the service was more like gospel rock, a form of worship that’s new to me but at this point, I am open to all of the varied ways that we celebrate God’s faith.

Upon arriving at Theresa’s room, the nurses had already moved her to the cardiac chair for upright therapy. It was clear from Theresa’s grimace that she was in pain since now that she is regaining partial consciousness, she must also be feeling the pain of the 20+ fractures from her neck to her heel. In the first month of Theresa’s healing journey, she was spared much of the pain due to her semi-comatose state.

Next on God’s schedule is to awaken her so she can begin to participate in the rehab therapies to come. For this we are grateful, not just for the healing power of God but also for Theresa’s pain as it is a sign that she is coming back to us.


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