Wednesday, September 28, 2016
|Wing Woo at Harborview|
Photo by Tracy Cooper
Wing and his 14-year old son, Tony, were body surfing when he was hit by a large wave. He hit his head on the ocean floor sustaining life threatening injuries.
Wing was knocked unconscious before being found by his son moments later, lifeless and unresponsive.
After a fund-raising drive guaranteed the payment, he was brought to Seattle on a fully-staffed medical flight and taken to Harborview via Shoreline Fire.
He was paralyzed, able to move only one toe. He had several surgeries to relieve pressure on the spine.
Two months ago, still in Harborview, he was able to fully extend his right leg from the knee while sitting in his wheelchair and able to grasp with one hand, a positive sign.
A month later, he continued to show progress with mobility and had even begun to regain some slight movement on his left side, while continuing to strengthen his right side.
His personality was irrepressible. According to Tracy Cooper, who set up the GoFundMe site,
"Wing does not take himself too seriously and the accident has not hampered his sense of humor in the least bit. He had us laughing the entire time while recounting his antics with the nurses and student nurses at Harborview.
When not in therapy, Wing wheels his chair around the floor and visits others who have suffered similar injuries, providing encouragement and no doubt laughs as well."
Five days ago, Tracy wrote about the family's frustration with the medical insurance. Woo had been transferred to a rehab facility to learn how to live at home, paralyzed, in a wheelchair.
"Wing has been transferred twice in the last three weeks to two different care facilities. Unfortunately, neither has provided the level of care needed and, in some cases, not even the most basic of needs were met."
The family found an appropriate facility, but insurance refused to pay and the family is paying out of pocket. They also found that insurance does not pay for the medical equipment needed for him to live at home.
Meanwhile, Tracy says, "Wing continues to be Wing. He fights to get better every day. He works hard in therapy every day. His family is thankful for every small sign of progress and improvement."
The current rehabilitation center is working with Wing to encourage him to move his wheelchair by using his hand controls instead of blowing into a straw.
People continue to donate to the GoFundMe site, as the family needs funds now, more than ever.