A Frontline Hero
Wen's sister, Fang, shares his story:
If you have had the pleasure of knowing Wen, you know that he is one of the most selfless, compassionate, and hardest working people you will ever meet. That's what makes this story even more heartbreaking.
Wen, was a healthcare worker at SUNY Downstate Hospital emergency room, and battled on the frontlines against COVID-19 when New York City became the epicenter of the outbreak in March.
Our family expressed grave concerns for his health and safety as he coped with the lack of adequate personal protective equipment at the hospital, a grueling schedule and a disease without a vaccine or cure. In spite of our concerns, Wen firmly expressed to us his duty and desire to provide patient care to those affected by this terrible pandemic, and he continued to serve until his last night shift before he fell ill from the virus.
On April 9th, Wen tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted into the ICU for observation due to severe respiratory issues. While in the ICU, he was placed on a ventilator, and endured months of extreme desaturation, high fever and coinciding infections.
The most devastating news our family received was when we found out he suffered a rare stroke to his cervical spinal cord, which rendered him a quadriplegic and left him paralyzed from the shoulders down.
Spinal cord stroke is a life-altering event. Due to the high level of Wen’s injury, his diaphragm function weakened significantly, and he struggled to breathe for months. Even as he slowly regains his ability to breathe on his own again, he will forever be dependent on others for all activities of daily living such as bathing, personal hygiene, dressing, self-feeding and mobility (getting in and out of bed or chair).
Rehab in Atlanta
Wen is currently undergoing aggressive spinal cord rehabilitation at Shepherd Center and he is determined to regain as much function as possible before returning home.
In order to allow Wen to come back home, we need to undergo major modifications including doorway widening and bathroom renovation to be wheelchair accessible. In addition, we also need to install a curved stairlift to give Wen access to his bedroom on the third level as the narrow design of the house makes it impossible for Wen to live on ground level.
All donations are in support of our effort to have Wen return home to our family and to purchase any assistive and adaptive device he requires.
Our family would like to express our utmost appreciation for your thoughts, prayers, support and generosity.
What Happens Next?
While Wen and his mom stay at the Shepherd Center for the next 6-8 weeks to work on regaining his strength and learning the skills he needs to take care of himself and maximize his independence, his sister Fang will be working on making their family home wheelchair accessible.
This family is facing a very long and expensive road to recovery.
The National SCI Statistical Center estimates that lifetime costs (health costs and living expenses only) for someone with an injury like Wen’s can be $3.7 million to $5.1 million. Your gift, no matter the size, will help Wen and his family deal with this challenge.
Where’s the Money Going?
Donations to this fund are being collected for Wen’s benefit by NYC Spinal, United Spinal Association New York City Chapter. That means your contribution is tax deductible and, because NYC Spinal is covering all credit card fees and administration costs, your entire gift will go directly to helping Wen.
How else can you help?
Share your stories about why you want to help Wen and his family. If you know him personally, tell us how he affected your life and why people should get involved with helping Wen.
Thanks for your support. We know it means the world this family. Now let's help get Wen started on the road to recovery.