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Wang has additional surgery on foot

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

Aloha to our Ohana,

The past five days of travel and separation from Theresa have been difficult and even lonely at times. I know in my heart that Theresa is in the best of hands at Craig Hospital and that our Lord is watching over and protecting her as He does with His entire flock. And I understand the reason for leaving her for a few weeks is so she can perform the various rehab therapies independent of my encouragement or distraction.

Still, there is a nagging feeling that I should be by her side throughout this journey even though there are other important matters to attend to back home. In the end, the only way to resolve this is for me to pray to God for reassurance that I made the right decision. Only time or some sign will tell if that is so.

Due to the last-minute ticketing of my return flight, it turned out to be a two-stopover 15-hour ordeal and that didn’t include the ground transportation either. Still, it felt nice to come home although I have yet to win that darn Halfway to Hawaii contest on United (only 6 minutes off this time.)

Cousin Darien lei-greeted me at Kona airport and drove us to my house in Waikoloa. Along with some friends’ contributions, she had even stocked the fridge with home cooking and other basics to get me through until I find the time to go shopping. Checking the home phone, there was a pleasant surprise as Theresa had left a nice voice message, probably from when she was trying out her replacement phone over the weekend. So although she couldn’t be home with me, Theresa found a way to be there in spirit.

I was looking forward to getting some much needed sleep before heading in to work the next day however that was not to be. Around 3:30 a.m. Hawaii time, there was a call from the orthopedic surgeon handling Theresa’s non-spine fractures.

As an aside, Theresa has more than 20 fractures so there are two orthopedic surgeons assigned to her: one for the spine and neck, and the other for all other body parts.

In this case, the call was concerning Theresa’s right heel bone or calcaneus that was crushed in the accident. The surgeons at Queen’s in Honolulu had largely ignored that part during their six-hour marathon effort to stop the bleeding from her broken femurs. The calcaneus injury seemed minor at the time so all that was done was to clean out the bone fragments and let it heal on its own.

In the 10 weeks since that surgery, after taking more films at Craig Hospital and then consulting with some of the top foot surgeons in the field, it was determined that not only was Theresa’s calcaneus not healing properly, but if left untended, it would result in loss of range of motion and probable pain when walking. Since Theresa’s right leg is not rated as weightbearing yet, another surgery at this point would not set back her rehab schedule too much.

So the decision was made to reopen the foot and perform surgery to rebuild the calcaneus and the ankle structure that connects to it. This was the reason for the early wake-up call, to get my authorization to proceed.

I asked to speak with Theresa to get her thoughts and she pretty much said she trusts me and knows I am making the best decision for the both of us. Thank you to our Lord for this sign of faith and reassurance from my loving wife.

By 4:30 a.m., Theresa was being prepped for surgery while I attempted to contact a friend in Denver to be with Theresa when she came out of recovery. Over the next four hours, it was impossible for me to fall asleep again so I waited by the phone and prayed continuously for our Lord to send His healing powers to Theresa and to guide the hands of the surgeon.

Finally, when I was at the office, the orthopedic surgeon called around 9:30 a.m. to explain what he’d found and fixed, and apologized for the delay because once he got in there, it was more complicated than the x-rays showed.

The news looks good so far, Theresa’s calcaneus is healing and more importantly, plates and screws were inserted to support the ankle and allow for better flexibility which should allow Theresa to dance the hula again one day.

Our friend Kelly came through once again and said she would be there; afterwards, she e-mailed that Theresa was doing OK but was very tired so Kelly sang a few songs to her, said a prayer and left her to rest. I continue to offer praise to our Lord for blessing us with His grace. He sends help in many forms and this day, it was a skilled surgeon that did the right research and knew what to do, and a friend who could be there with Theresa when I could not. Our Heavenly Father, thank you for this sign that all will be well, and the reassurance that my returning home was the right thing to do.


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