UPDATE: Korean Siblings Who Lost Dad, Grandma to COVID-19 Still Waiting on Lung Transplant at USC
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to report that Hannah and Joseph’s mother, Eun-Ju, has been transferred to USC Keck hospital but is still waiting on a lung transplant.
Two Korean American siblings from Los Angeles who were left devastated after COVID-19 infected the entire family has transferred their mother to USC Keck hospital on Thursday morning.
While their mother, Eun-Ju, 60, is still being evaluated and considered for a lung transplant, Hannah Haein Kim, 22, and her younger brother Joseph Kim, 17, say she will get a tracheostomy, an “alternative to her ventilator that’s much cleaner and comfortable than an oral ventilator.”
The siblings are overwhelmed by the support they have been receiving on social media.
Hannah and Joseph Kim are the only healthy remaining members after the virus claimed both their grandmother and father.
While Hannah and Joseph only lost their sense of smell, Eun-Ju was readmitted to the ICU and is in dire need of a double lung transplant.
The 22-year-old California State University student currently shoulders the burden of fending for herself and her brother’s wellbeing while also undergoing an eviction process from their new landlord who plans to demolish their building.
The family of five was whittled down to three after what Hannah suspected as her grandmother, Sun Soon, 85, having contracted the virus from the nursing home she stayed in, and her father, Timothy, 68, from one of his acupuncture patients, she told CBSLA.
In a series of online journal entries for the Gen by Gen project with the Los Angeles Koreatown Youth and Community Center (KYCCLA), KQED compiled the timeline from their suspected contraction.
Hannah’s grandmother moved into their home on April 17, and 10 days later, on April 27, she needed to go to the hospital. Directly after, her father and mother were admitted just hours apart. On May 21, her father passed.
KYCCLA created a GoFundMe for the Kim family to aid them in this difficult time.
Hannah is our Graphic Design intern. Last month she lost her Grandma and Dad to #COVID19. Her mom is in the ICU and needs a lung transplant. Please share their story and help us raise funds to help the Kim family! https://t.co/yDTYzytoHN
Katherine Kim, the Senior Communications Editor at KYCCLA and the GoFundMe creator, stated that the funds would be allocated as such:
“-50% housing, moving, medical and funeral costs; living expenses (food, utility bills) -25% Joe’s college fund (he is a rising senior and an academic star who wants to study Mechanical Engineering) -25% savings”
The fundraiser has surpassed its $350,000 goal as of this writing, however, Eun-Ju’s life is still in danger.
Lung Transplant Needed This Week
Eun-Ju was released on May 29 after surviving COVID-19. She seemed to be getting back to her usual condition when it suddenly deteriorated as her oxygen levels plummeted once again.
The virus ravaged Eun-Ju’s lungs into an irreparable state.
“They told us that her lungs are dead. They’ve become so scarred and hardened from the virus,” Hannah said. “The only option is for her to get a lung transplant.
Now she continues to fight for her life in PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital, strapped to a ventilator, and “needs a transplant THIS WEEK.”
“This weekend, Hannah, Joe and the extended family have requested [an] amplification,” through social media to approve of a lung match.
“She is already on the waitlist at #UCLAHealth and #KeckMedUSC and we’d like to urge them to consider her case,” Hannah wrote.
In an interview with NBCLA, she recounted the last time she spoke to her mother, just before she was put on the ventilator.
“I asked her, ‘Hey do you have a will to fight? Are you going to live with us? Do you have energy to fight this?’ She said yes.'”
“Our dad was the most special person to both my brother and I,” Hannah told CBSLA. “And I cannot even imagine living without my mother.”
The Kim family hopes others can help by spreading their story, and escalating the urgency for the lung transplant at #UCLA Health and #KeckMedUSC.
You can donate to their GoFundMe, mail a check to HANNAH HAE IN KIM at 3010 Wilshire Blvd. #372, Los Angeles, CA 90010-1103, or purchase some of Hannah’s artworks at @hancandrawtoo.
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