There is Reason to Continue to Hope
"Excitement was in the air, and celebration plans were being made. A bright new world was ahead of my daughter, Queena. She was days away from her prom and high school graduation. My older daughter, Anna, had already successfully entered college. I was so proud of them. I was also proud that I had succeeded in setting my girls up to continue having all the privileges and opportunities I didn't back in Vietnam. My heart was happy. My girls had made it."
It was April 24, 2008. I will never forget the moment. My world just stopped. I went completely numb, not knowing if I was ever going to be able to talk to her again. I stood there and cried, begged God not to take my daughter. My heart was breaking into a million pieces, because I couldn't help her.
A phone call came in that would change everything. The call informing me that something might be wrong since a friend of Queena's had heard her scream during a phone call, and then was unable to reach her again. I had already sensed that the time for my daughter to return home from work was dragging on a little too long. I assumed the best. Maybe she stopped for something to eat. Maybe her cell phone battery had died. But in reality, the darkest night of my life was about to come.
My world went numb. I was simultaneously begging God to please spare my daughter's life, while also trying to understand how any of this could be real. Who would do this to my Queena? She was loved by everyone. She would never put herself in a situation where something like this could happen. This could not have happened.
The rest of that night would be filled with facing my deepest fears, and chosing to move foward for my daugter. The next hours would indicate my daughter's potential for recovery, or lack of potential for recovery... The part I held onto was the fact that the doctor said, "she would be okay." That was enough. Queena had fought for her life long enough to be rescued. And somehow, it was all going to have to be okay.
Days went on. Many questions whirled around in my head. Mixtures of blame, regret, hatred, hope, faith, and sorrow. Details continued to unfold with the investigators as well as in regards to her physical injuries and how long their effects would last. For many of the questions, unspeakable answers began to become unraveled. No! Please, God, no.
Everyone's dreams hit occasional detours. By her age, my life’s detour brought serious challenges, but also the hope of opportunity. What good could possibly come from a detour like this in Queena’s young life? It had always been my job to nurse her injuries and make things better, but how was I supposed to do that now? As I sat there, and thought of all that we had overcome before, I knew that with God we would make it. She was alive. I found hope in knowing my daughters and I would get through this together.
It's true. My daughter’s life, and the lives of her family and friends, changed in an instant. But, then, she fought through every bit of it. She is such a fighter and so strong. The first time she opened her eyes, I knew that she would make it through this journey. And if not for the grace of God, we may have lost her completely. But, He gave her a second chance at life, and I will forever be grateful for the blessing of the miracle that He gave us. Her life was spared, and her ongoing fight and recovery process wound up being a source hope and inspiration to many others.
Today marks 10 years of Queena’s strength & persistence in her fight against Traumatic Brain Injury plus Anoxic Brain Injury. God has shown her so much grace and mercy. He is keeping His promise, and Queena is progressing each and everyday. And with love, hope and God, nothing is impossible.
I may still remember the sting of those tough times many years ago, but the pain is diminished by the memory of those who encouraged us. Without the encouragement, support, and generosity of the community, my daughter would not have made the remarkable progress that she has shown. You all have made a difference in Queena’s life.
This year, on Sunday April 29, we will be celebrating Hope, Love, and Life and Queena’s amazing accomplishments over the last 10 years. Tickets are AVAILABLE for purchase at:
Also this year, Queena will be trying some breakthrough medical treatments, new forms of therapy, and will be traveling out of the country on vacation for the first time in 10 years. Other exciting news includes, hopefully, a book release, and a film documentary, already in the works. Praise God!
Please continue to pray for healing and restoration. May God's will continue to bless Queena. Her healing continues daily, but there is still more needed.