Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Update from David

Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 9:08 PM


Theresa just returned from surgery and the initial update is that all went well.  Her neck and arm fractures were repaired and she even opened her eyes briefly for the nurse but was too groggy to follow other commands.  The immediate goal is for her to rest and heal over the next few days before further procedures are scheduled.

Please join me in giving thanks to God for Theresa's miraculous improvement these past ten days, let alone the past two years since her subarachnoid aneurysm.  There is a long journey ahead but we know that by following in His path, all will be well.

Mahalo and good night,


Update from David

Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 8:07 PM

Aloha to our Ohana,

Sorry to wait until the last minute but it's now approaching seven hours into the surgery and still no word.  In the past, my ego would be to think the worst but no more.  I have faith that the surgeons hands are being guided by God and they are taking extra time to ensure everything is being done right.  Wanda waited as long as she could and left half an hour ago to catch her flight.  By the time she arrives home in about 13 hours, I know in my heart there will be good news to tell her.

In the meantime, here is a link to the article about Theresa in yesterday's Honolulu Star-Advertiser.  The reporting is a little outdated because the phone interviews were done over the past week, otherwise it's accurate and I appreciate the writer for taking the time to tell our side of this story.  A PDF of the article is attached, or click on the link to view the reader comments too:



Update from David

Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 1:07 PM

Aloha to our friends & family,

As I type this, Theresa is traveling to the O.R. in preparation for the surgery to repair her multiple neck and arm fractures.  The procedure is scheduled to take five hours so I will provide an update at around 2000h Hawaii time, or 0600h GMT.  With friends & family up to 18 time zones away, saying Tuesday evening doesn't mean much when it's already Wednesday afternoon in Tokyo.

Wanda is flying home to Calgary, Alberta tonight but hopefully not before Theresa returns from surgery.  Theresa's baby sister has made a world of difference this past week, not just for Theresa's care but also for my support.  Wanda fit right in with the Queen's Medical Center ICU nurses and they had a wonderful exchange of dialogue and ideas.  Additionally, the attending Trauma and Surgery Critical Care physicians and residents treated Wanda like one of their own, asking her opinion and listening to her ideas about Theresa's care.  Everyone here will miss Wanda and we wish her a safe flight home.  By the next time Wanda returns, Theresa will be up and about and giving the rehabilitation therapists fits, if last time was any indicator.  Thank you to God for bringing Wanda to us this past week, one of many angels that came in answer to our prayers.



Monday, November 29, 2010

Star Advertiser: Brennan Crash Victim's Husband Keeps Vigil

David Chen says he is not mad at the driver who injured his wife

By Dan Nakaso

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Nov 29, 2010

Terry Brennan, father of former University of Hawaii star quarterback Colt Brennan, took a break from his son's bedside at the Queen's Medical Center last week to go to the bathroom when he was approached by a soft-spoken stranger.

Within moments, Brennan recognized David Chen as a man of remarkable strength born from a deep and relentless faith.

"He's a special guy -- I could tell that right off," Brennan said. "He goes through life with a lot of self-assurance, and I'm sure that comes from his faith."

Colt Brennan was released from the hospital Saturday, and as his fans wait for updates on his recovery from the Nov. 19 head-on crash on the Big Island's Queen Kaahumanu Highway, Chen has taken up quiet residence in the Queen's intensive care unit, praying no fewer than 15 times a day.

Chen's wife, Dr. Theresa Wang, 47, was driving a 1996 Saab sedan when she was hit by a 1997 Toyota SUV driven by Brennan's girlfriend, Shakti Stream, 27.

Stream declined a request by the Star-Advertiser to be interviewed. But she and her mother, Dora Furtado, a Big Island Hawaiian healer, visited Wang Thanksgiving night and held hands in a circle with Chen, his sister-in-law and friends for 10 to 15 minutes, Chen said yesterday.

Wang has not regained consciousness since she was flown by medevac from Kona to Oahu after the crash.

But moments after Thursday night's Thanksgiving prayer circle, Wang suddenly opened her eyes.

She did not blink in response to questions, but the moment was one of the few bright spots since the crash.

"For us it was like a prayer answered," Chen said. "Even though she is still not responsive, it is a small step on the road to recovery. We have a lot to be thankful for."

Chen is anxious to learn why Stream crossed Queen Kaahumanu Highway's center line. But he did not ask Stream for details. She does not have health insurance and continues to suffer from a broken clavicle, Chen said.

"The moment wasn't right," he said. "It was a moment more about forgiveness than about fact-finding. If we're intended to know, it will come out."

After suffering from an aneurysm in 2008, Wang had not returned to work as a family care physician at the West Hawaii Community Health Center. As a result of the Nov. 19 car crash, Wang suffered a broken neck that led to a blood clot, which triggered a stroke that left her unconscious, Chen said.

Wang underwent surgery to repair broken femurs in both legs and other leg fractures. But her brain remains swollen, and neurological tests will determine whether she is strong enough to be operated on to repair multiple fractures in both arms, broken ribs and her broken neck, Chen said.

"They're waiting for the swelling to subside in the brain," he said.

When he speaks to God throughout the day, Chen does not pray for his wife's wounds to heal.

"We don't need to ask of God. He knows what we need," Chen, 47, said by telephone as monitors beeped by his wife's side.

Instead, when Chen closes his eyes in prayer throughout the course of each day, he gives thanks.

"We certainly do have a lot to be thankful for this year," he said. "We're thankful because she survived, and we're thankful that the first responders got there when they did and got her helicoptered to North Hawaii Community Hospital. We're thankful for the air ambulance and, of course, for all of the nurses and doctors and support staff here at Queen's who have done wonders for her. We are thankful for God for allowing all of this to take place and for keeping Theresa with us."

THE CRASH OCCURRED in North Kona -- near Makalawena Beach, at about the 90-mile marker -- and was reported at 9:36 a.m.

Big Island police are investigating the collision as "two negligent injury investigations," according to a statement. "The exact cause of the crash is still under investigation and it is undetermined at this time if speed, alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash."

Hawaii County police Maj. Randy Apele said it could take a couple more weeks for toxicology and mechanical inspection reports to come back.

At least one witness gave statements at the scene of the crash, Apele said, but "there was nothing significant that may have contributed to the crash in terms of traffic congestion or other vehicles that were on the roadway."

Once the toxicology and mechanical results come back, Apele said, "the case will be routed to the Prosecutor's Office for review."

Stream was released from a Kona hospital last week, Terry Brennan said.

WANG WAS BORN in Taiwan; Chen, in Hong Kong.

Both of their families immigrated to Alberta, Canada, where Wang and Chen were introduced by mutual friends 20 years ago.

She was outgoing and finishing up medical school. He was more reserved, and interested in finance.

"The first time we met, she told her girlfriend, 'He's not my type,'" Chen said. "I was persistent, and she came to know that maybe, deep down, I was her type. She seemed like a nice, caring person. I thought the relationship was worth pursuing."

They married four years later and settled in Wisconsin for the next nine years for Wang's career, after she was heavily recruited around the United States, Chen said.

They became U.S. citizens and -- when they discovered they could not have children -- began the process to adopt a baby from Taiwan.

In 2006 they moved to the Big Island for Chen's job as director of finance at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. The plan was for Wang to retire from her medical career and raise the child they hoped to adopt.

But Wang was moved by the need for neighbor island doctors.

"The main thing her patients say is she takes the time to listen to them and understands their needs," Chen said. "She's patient and makes them feel comfortable. A lot of times, she tells me that they may come in for a cough or a cold, but she quickly realizes there are other problems at home or problems at work. She's particularly good at getting them to reveal that second, hidden agenda."

Six months after her 2008 aneurysm, the adoption they dreamed of came through.

But the 3-year-old girl suffered from developmental issues because her mother had been addicted to alcohol and drugs, Chen said.

So Wang and Chen made the painful decision to have their daughter adopted by a family on the mainland that had experience caring for special-needs children.

"It wasn't just Theresa's aneurysm," Chen said. "It would be a challenging situation for even fully healthy parents."

Asked about the pain of letting the toddler go, Chen said quietly, "That was a difficult time for us. It wasn't God's plan at the time."

Every day since Chen got a call from North Hawaii Community Hospital saying his wife of 16 years had been in an accident, he has been at her bedside.

He sleeps in special accommodations at the Queen's Medical Center at night and stays in touch with work during the day.

Friends from Greece and Egypt to Tokyo and Taiwan regularly send e-mails offering to pray for Wang and include her in their church services and prayer groups.

While Chen waits by his wife's side, he believes that the answers to all of his questions will come in their own time.

He just has to be patient. In the meantime, Chen insists he has no animus toward the woman who crashed into his wife's car. He just wants to know why.

"I don't harbor any ill feelings toward her," Chen said. "It would be good to know the reason that the vehicle crossed the center line. If it was inadvertent or even if it was intentional, we still have to forgive. I'm just doing what God intended for us to do."


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Update from David

Sent: Sunday, November 28, 2010 11:29 PM

Aloha, Everyone,

Small steps:  that is a good way to describe Theresa's recovery.  As reported previously, Theresa opened her eyes and flexed her fingers two days ago.  Yesterday, she only opened her eyes and didn't move anything else, which led to a downgrade in the prognosis and an order for another MRI.  Overnight, Theresa's ICU nurse pampered her with a shampoo, hair braid (to prevent knotting) and lively conversation which culminated in Theresa nodding her head in agreement, another milestone on this journey.  This morning, Theresa wiggled her toes for the neurologist and thus cleared that hurdle to consent for the neck surgery.  The MRI results came back with more good news.  The brain swelling has subsided (thank you, Lord) and no further damage appears to have occurred, other than a bruise to the spinal cord which may have been there previously but missed on the less precise CT scan.  So neck surgery is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday and once again, I request your prayers for a successful outcome.  God has a plan and timetable for Theresa's recovery and I don't believe He consulted with the surgeons about it.  Let time take its course and all will be well as long as we believe.



Friday, November 26, 2010

Update from David

Sent: Friday, November 26, 2010 9:37 PM

Aloha, Friends & Family,

"pretty damn good!" -- Those were the words of the attending Trauma & Surgical Critical Care physician during today's rounds when reviewing Theresa's progress.  The main reason for the exclamation was because Theresa opened her eyes during a neurological evaluation and according to the resident who performed it, Theresa even flexed the fingers on her right hand.  For whatever reason, Theresa did not give the finger to the Neurologist later that morning so she is not cleared for neck surgery yet.  Until then, further diagnosis and imaging will be performed over the weekend to get a good baseline and ensure the ortho and neuro surgeons know what they're dealing with.  E-mails from two more friends in Wisconsin confirm that Theresa visited them over the last few days, even spooking one of their cats (Theresa never could let a sleeping cat lie.)  To me, this means she is still traveling but checking in with the home office now and then.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day and it had its high and low points for Wanda and me.  It started on a high when the Neurologist thought she saw Theresa react by moving her eyes to the flashlight.  That showed promise which was fulfilled during this morning's rounds.  The next high was that Theresa's ICU nurse gave us her free turkey meal pass to use.  Then the lows started -- the cashier wouldn't accept the pass without ID so we ended up paying for the meal.  Not that we're budding restaurant critics but the best thing to say about that dinner is the gravy was lukewarm.  The turkey was colder than the salad and blander too, and the pumpkin pie would have been rejected by Sara Lee.  Looking around,  there was a display that proudly proclaimed Sodexo as the provider of meal services.  It turns out Sodexo also prepares meals for schools and prisons and in a travesty of justice, prisoners receive the most nutritional food.  Then the highs started again.  Since turkey meal #1 was a bust, I used my phone-a-friend option and took up his offer of dinner with his family.  My apologies to the other four friends that had also invited us but Ward's house was closest to the hospital in case we had to rush back.  Turkey meal #2 more than made up for the institutional disaster and best of all, the dress code was not powder blue and white.

To top off the evening, just before the end of visiting hours, another friend and colleague called to say he was coming over with turkey meal #3.  After meeting up with Danny Akaka (Mauna Lani's Director of Culture) and his wife Anna, Danny stopped to greet a distinguished-looking woman and her striking daughter in the ICU hallway.  It turns out the older woman is Zora Furtado, a well-known Hawaiian teacher and spiritual healer, and her daughter is Shakti Stream, the girlfriend of Colt Brennan and driver of the vehicle that collided with Theresa's.  Initially, I had misgivings about meeting them but this melted away with the introductions and Zora's heartfelt hug that lasted over a minute.  Both she and Shakti apologized for the accident and Zora let us know that she has prayed steadily over the past week for Theresa's wellbeing.  As with Colt's father, it was all I could do to forgive them, especially seeing that Shakti's arm was still in a sling and she was in visible pain.  Recently, Shakti lost her job and health insurance along with it so she is waiting for the new coverage to begin before treatment can proceed on her broken clavicle.  The six of us then proceeded to Theresa's bedside where a prayer circle was formed, hands joined, and we directed love, prayers and healing energies to Theresa.

I've said this before and it bears repeating.  The prayers, love and healing energy from our family and friends and their families and friends all over the world is what makes the difference in Theresa's recovery.  I did not mention it in prior updates but four days ago, the same physician quoted at the beginning of this update was telling us to prepare for the worst.  That moment has passed as we look forward and continue to pray for Theresa, Colt and Shakti's recoveries.



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Update from David

Sent: Thursday, November 25, 2010 12:51 AM

Aloha, Friends & Family,

This is getting downright spooky.  Over the course of yesterday evening and this morning, three e-mail replies arrived from friends in Wisconsin and each mentions a strong feeling of Theresa being near them or that she was on their mind for much of the day.  The only explanation I have is that Theresa is visiting Wisconsin in spirit.  Now this isn't as far-fetched as it may seem.  Before the accident, we were planning a trip in the new year to see friends in Wisconsin and to return the ashes of our recently departed cat, Timmymao.  As Theresa is sedated and resting comfortably, her spirit may be jumping the gun and taking a trip first.  So if any of you feels Theresa nearby, then maybe she touched you on her spiritual journey.  Anybody with a better explanation, feel free to speak up.

Theresa's sister, Wanda, arrived from Calgary last night.  She will be here for the next week to share watch duties and to assist in my understanding of the medical procedures as Wanda is a critical care nurse at the Foothills Hospital.  She really is a Godsend and the ICU staff already loves her (notwithstanding that she brought them cookies and chocolates.)

In the past 24 hours, Theresa's vital signs have improved to near-normal levels, a positive indicator to be sure.  Other diagnostic tests performed today also agree with the assessment that her brain activity and body responses are in the normal range for someone under heavy sedation.  That she remains unconscious and is unresponsive could be partly due to the sedation or to the swelling of the cerebellum causing pressure against the brain stem.  A series of imaging procedures may be ordered tomorrow to determine if the swelling is subsiding.  I believe our prayers for the last two days were answered as Theresa looks more relaxed today, almost like she is enjoying a deep sleep as the body heals itself in preparation for her spirit's return from its worldly travels.

Thank you for the get-well-soon cards and e-mails that arrived in Theresa's ICU room this week.  The preferable way to send a greeting is by this link:  http://www.queensmedicalcenter.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20&Itemid=126
Theresa Wang is in the Queen Emma Tower, Unit 4C.  Cards may also be sent to:

The Queen's Medical Center
QET - Unit 4C - Theresa Wang
1301 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, Hawaii  96813

In the interest of fairness to the media, that first interview with the West Hawaii Today newspaper led to three TV interviews, and soon to follow is a write-up in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the largest circulation newspaper in Hawaii.  In addition, http://www.hawaii247.com will be updating Theresa's condition on a regular basis.  Here is a link to the TV interview for the local FOX affiliate (let's just keep it a secret that I ever appeared on a Fox News telecast:)  http://www.khon2.com/mostpopular/story/Husband-of-woman-injured-in-crash-involving-Colt/X9nSyhb5L025NlWuTuCgww.cspx

Today, I received a message from the hospital communications director that Colt Brennan's father requested to contact me by phone.  Instead, I saw him in the ICU waiting area and introduced myself to Mr. & Mrs. Terry Brennan.  We exchanged greetings and sympathies and it was agreed that what happened was terrible for all involved.  They let me know that they are keeping Theresa and me in their prayers and I mentioned that our prayer group is doing the same for everyone hurt by this incident.  Mr. Brennan appeared especially tired by the events of the past week and I let him know that all is forgiven; that almost brought tears to his eyes.  As a parent who almost lost their child, that is a grief I can partly understand.

Please continue to keep Theresa and everyone hurt by this incident in your prayers.  For those of you in the U.S.A., have a Happy Thanksgiving Day.  I know what I am thankful for this year.



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Update from David

Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 7:51 PM

Aloha, Friends,

Theresa's condition has not changed since yesterday.  She is still unresponsive to stimulus and the doctors tell us the only thing to do is wait and hope.  But we can do more than that, we can join in prayer for Theresa's wellbeing and return to consciousness.  Theresa is young and strong and has so much to live for.  When I hold her hand, I know she is still with us.

With God's power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or think of.  Ephesians 3:20



Monday, November 22, 2010

Update from David

Sent: Monday, November 22, 2010 6:33 PM

Aloha, Everyone

The prayers for the improved blood oxygen worked!  They are back to an acceptable level after a very astute respiratory tech began the use of APRV.  Thank you, Lord, for giving him the inspiration.

Another serious complication arose today.  There is swelling in the back of the brain caused by residual effects from the vertebral artery that was sealed on Saturday.  This swelling may be creating pressure on Theresa's brain stem and preventing her from responding to stimulus.  Until this complication is resolved, the neck surgery is on hold.

Please join me in praying for Theresa's brain swelling to subside.  Sometimes it feels like a game of whack-a-mole but these prayers are making all the difference.



Sunday, November 21, 2010

KHON2: Husband of Woman Injured in Crash Involving Colt Brennan Speaks to KHON2

Reported by: Marisa Yamane
Email: myamane@khon2.com
Last Update: 11/21 11:22 pm

The Waikoloa woman who was driving the car that was hit head-on by the SUV Colt Brennan was riding in, remains in serious condition at the Queen's Medical Center.

She's identified as 47-year old Theresa Wang, a Big Island doctor.

Theresa Wang and her husband of 16 years David Chen moved to the Big Island in 2006.

Friday morning, Wang was driving on Queen Kaahumanu Highway, on her way to Kona to meet a friend, when an S-U-V heading in the opposite direction crossed the center line and slammed into Wang's car.

"She has multiple broken bones from her legs to her arms to her neck and her hip and so far the surgeons have only repaired the broken bones in her legs, her condition not stable enough for them to continue further surgery," said Chen.

Wang was born in Taiwan, immigrated with her family to Calgary, Canada when she was young, got her Medical Degree, and practiced as a family physician in Alberta where she met Chen, and together they moved to Wisconsin, then eventually to Hawaii.

In April 2008, Wang was hired by the West Hawaii Community Health Center, fulfilling her dream to work in a public health clinic.

Eight months later, on Christmas Day 2008, the doctor became a patient.

Wang had an aneurysm, but Chen said she was making amazing progress and was in the end stages of her recovery. In fact, Wang was scheduled to return to work in January.

"She's been sedated ever since her arrival at Queen's and the first surgery and she is not really aware of her surroundings now," said Chen.

Chen, who works for the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel as the Director of Finance, has been by his wife's side at the Queen's Medical Center.

The couple does not have any children. Chen said, "Its difficult being here theres every hour so or a new situation crops up that requires immediate intervention and so its really just very unpredictable and stress filled." He added, "All of our friends are praying not just for Theresa but for everyone involved in the accident."


Update from David

Sent: Sunday, November 21, 2010 11:19 PM

Aloha to our Friends & Family,

Theresa is certainly not being neglected here.  As I type this, there are 4 MDs, 2 ICU nurses and a respiratory tech all squeezed into her small ICU room.  Unlike a school dance though, having many suitors is not necessarily a good thing here.  Under these circumstances, being treated like a wallflower may be preferable.

That said, the past two days have seen highs and lows in Theresa's recovery.  Although she made it through Friday night's marathon surgery to repair both of her femurs, other leg fractures and stopping of the blood loss, a serious complication arose on Saturday morning.  The neck fracture that previously was not deemed critical asserted itself by pushing against one of the vertebral arteries that supply blood to the back of the head.  Left untended, this could result in blood loss, clots, or worse.  An emergency angio procedure was ordered to close off that artery by inserting platinum coils through her femoral artery all the way up to the neck, similar to the method used almost two years ago to close off Theresa's aneurysm (that girl may end up with more platinum in her head than most people have on their fingers.)  Amazingly, by the time the interventional neuroradiologist started the procedure, the CT scan showed there was no longer a problem.  A large clot had formed and the result was the artery had sealed itself off.  For good measure, the surgical team packed some coils on both sides of the clot.  To me, this self-repair was God's doing and qualifies as a miracle, the direct result of your outpouring of prayers and healing energies.  Please keep them coming.

Today (Sunday), the surgery to replace the herniated disc in the neck was scheduled but canceled due to low blood oxygen levels.  Thus the immediate goal is to improve Theresa's breathing before any further surgery can proceed.  In conjunction with the pulmonary intensivist (who makes up these titles?), the respiratory tech is spending much of his 12-hr shift trying to boost Theresa's breathing.  I ask you to join me in praying that her oxygenation improves to the point where the surgery can go ahead without delay.

On a semi-related matter, there now seems to be a feeding frenzy among the press regarding this story but it is entirely one-sided to the point that the "unidentified Waikoloa woman that drove the other car" is relegated to footnote status.  I felt it important to let people know that this woman has a name and she has touched many in the community, including hundreds of Theresa's former patients.  Here is a link to today's front page article in the West Hawaii Today that helps to set the record straight:


The reaction to this story has been positive and the show of support for Theresa is evident in posts to her Facebook page and elsewhere.  I won't waste any more valuable energy feeding this media circus and even turned down a TV interview today.  The hospital did suggest I field some questions over the phone to relieve their communications department from the constant media inquiries, so I agreed and gave a short phone interview and two photos to KHON2, the local TV station.  Such is the price of an accidental brush with fame.

Mahalo for your continuing prayers and support, each day is better than the previous one.

David (and Theresa by proxy)

P.S.  One of my former classmates wrote a beautiful prayer for us and I have asked her permission to include it for all to share.  Thank you, Loraine.  Your prayer is a gift from God.


Heavenly Father,
You are the creator of us and our world and all that is good in it and we give your praise.
We lift up Theresa into your loving arms and thank you that she survived the terrible car accident and that the emergency workers were able to extract her from her car and airlift her to Honolulu so that she can receive the critical care that she needs. We pray that you will once again bless Theresa with your healing grace so that she will make a full recovery.
We lift up David to you. Please help him to be strong and to get the rest and support that he will need while he keeps his vigil at Theresa’s side once again.
We thank you that Theresa and David have strong faith in you and that they are able to call on you in prayer and to ask us to pray with them.
Lord, we pray that the doctors and nurses who are overseeing Theresa’s care will be skilled and caring and that you will guide their hands and actions. Please bless Theresa as she goes into each surgery and help her to feel enveloped in your love and the knowledge that you are with her.
Please help us not to forget Shakti and Colt who were injured also and we pray that each of them will make a full recovery. We ask you to help Shakti to deal positively with her feelings about causing an accident and injuring Theresa so severely. Help us to all to forgive her and pray that she will have peace.
And Lord, we ask that you help us not to ask why this happened to Theresa after her miraculous recovery from her brain aneurism. Please help us to accept that some things are not knowable to us and help us to be content with knowing that Theresa, and David, are in your care.
We ask these things in the name of your son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.


West Hawaii Today: Waikoloa Woman Remains in Serious Condition

by Chelsea JensenWest Hawaii Today
Sunday, November 21, 2010 7:17 AM HST

Brennan's status upgraded

A Waikoloa woman remained in serious condition while former University of Hawaii and NFL quarterback Colt Brennan, 27, was upgraded to stable condition on Saturday following a two-car crash Friday in North Kona.

West Hawaii Today on Saturday learned Theresa Wang, 47, was the driver of the southbound Saab that was struck head-on in the collision Friday near Makalawena Beach. Her husband, David Chen, contacted the newspaper from The Queen's Medical Center on Oahu.

Chen said Wang, his wife of 16 years, suffered fractures to her neck, arms, legs and hips. She remains fully sedated. Wang has already undergone one surgery and likely will have to undergo at least two to three more surgeries, he said.

The neck fracture was "pretty severe," he said, noting a couple of disks had been shifted in the accident causing pressure on nerves and blood vessels in her neck, which could cause nerve damage or stroke.

"We will have to wait and see. It's going to be day-by-day. I trust my faith in God will pull me through," Chen said. "We thank all of our friends for their prayers."

Queen's in a Saturday afternoon press release stated Brennan's condition had been upgraded to stable. Brennan's father, Terry Brennan, told KHON-TV Friday night that Colt suffered three or four broken ribs, a broken left collarbone and head injuries.

The condition of Brennan's girlfriend, Shakti Stream, 27, was unavailable. Kona Community Hospital spokeswoman Emily Mendez-Bryant did not respond to calls and emergency room staff, citing patient privacy and confidentiality laws, declined to provide an update.

Wang, a longtime family physician in the Midwest, moved to the Big Island with Chen in 2006. Shortly after their arrival, she began filling in for various doctors in North Hawaii.

In April 2008, she accepted a full-time position with the West Hawaii Community Health Center that was in line with her dreams to work in a public health clinic in an inner city, Chen said.

However, on Christmas Day 2008, Chen said Wang suffered an aneurysm and was still recovering from that incident at the time of Friday's crash.

Wanting to return to work, Chen said Wang had been preparing for a trial run working at the health clinic, shadowing other doctors to see if she would be able to work again.

"And, unfortunately, something like this happens," Chen said. "However, we wish the best to Colt Brennan and his girlfriend in their recovery."

On Friday, police said Stream was the driver of a northbound sports utility vehicle in which Brennan was a passenger. Stream apparently crossed the center line of Queen Kaahumanu Highway near Makalawena Beach and collided head-on with Wang's southbound Saab, according to police.

Brennan and Stream were transported to Kona Community Hospital while Wang was transported via Chopper 2 to North Hawaii Community Hospital. Brennan and Wang were later flown to Oahu for further treatment.

No charges have been filed in connection with crash, which remains under investigation, police said.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Update from David

Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2010 11:07 AM

Aloha to our Friends & Family,

I contact you today in the hopes that you will join me in praying for Theresa's well-being. She was involved in a car accident on Friday morning and medflighted to Queens Medical Center in Honolulu for trauma and orthopedic surgery. Currently, Theresa is in the ICU recovering from six hours of surgery last night to repair her legs and stabilize the blood loss. Further surgery will be required for her arm and neck fractures. By the grace of God, her spinal column appears intact and it looks like the major organs were mostly spared. Theresa is being kept sedated in the hopes that she will gain enough strength to endure the upcoming surgeries. I held her hand and spoke a few words but for now, she's off in lalaland as she likes to say.

Like most ICUs, no gifts are allowed so please send kind thoughts & prayers our way. I will read them to Theresa as they arrive.



P.S. These links are to some local news articles about the crash. Since a highly regarded football player was in the other vehicle, most of the reporting is about Colt Brennan's condition.

This follow-up email was sent by David later that morning:

Added one more news article from the local newspaper below.  Thanks be to God that Theresa always wears her seatbelt and happened to be driving the Saab, one of safest cars around.  I heard the local ER doc comment that the rescue crew said they didn't expect to pull a live person out of a wreck that bad.





West Hawaii Today: Colt Brennan injured in Kona

Colt Brennan injured in Kona
by Chelsea Jensen
West Hawaii Today
Saturday, November 20, 2010 7:21 AM HST
Former University of Hawaii and NFL quarterback Colt Brennan, 27, was hospitalized with serious injuries Friday morning following a two-car crash near Makalawena Beach in North Kona.

Brennan was a passenger in a silver 1997 Toyota sports utility vehicle driven by Shakti Stream, a 27-year-old Kona woman, Area II Maj. Randy Apele said. Stream was driving northbound on Queen Kaahumanu Highway when she apparently crossed the center line and collided head-on with a southbound 1996 Saab sedan around 9:30 a.m., he said.

Apele said police had yet to determine why Stream crossed the center line near mile marker 90. He was also unsure if Stream was attempting to make a left turn from the highway.

Kailua Fire Station Capt. Charles Spain said Brennan was pinned in the sports utility vehicle, which had come to a stop on its side on the makai side shoulder of the highway. Stream had exited the vehicle prior to the Fire Department's arrival, he said.

Fire rescue personnel extricated Brennan, who was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Brennan and Stream were both transported in serious condition to Kona Community Hospital.

Brennan was later flown to The Queen's Medical Center on Oahu for further treatment, Apele said.

Queen's issued a statement saying Brennan was in serious condition.

Brennan's father, Terry Brennan, told KHON-TV he suffered three or four broken ribs, a broken left collarbone and head injuries.

Click Photo to Enlarge
Fire rescue personnel extricated former University of Hawaii and NFL quarterback Colt Brennan from an overturned vehicle Friday. - Sam Brown | Special To West Hawaii Today
The driver of the Saab, a 47-year-old Waikoloa woman, was also pinned in her vehicle following the crash, Spain said. Her car came to a stop about 10 to 15 yards off the mauka side of the highway in an open lava field, he said.

Fire rescue personnel extricated the woman, who was stabilized and subsequently flown via Chopper 2 to North Hawaii Community Hospital, where she was listed in serious condition. Spain said the woman had been wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Apele said the woman was later transported to The Queen's Medical Center for further treatment.

Queen Kaahumanu Highway was closed in the area for nearly two hours following the accident. The highway reopened about 11:30 a.m.

Police have opened two negligent injury investigations in connection with the crash. Police have yet to determine if speed, alcohol or drugs were contributing factors in the crash, however, a blood draw at the hospital is standard procedure for drivers involved negligent injury cases, Apele said.

Click Photo to Enlarge
Former University of Hawaii and NFL quarterback Colt Brennan was hospitalized with serious injuries Friday morning following a two-car crash near Makalawena Beach in North Kona. Brennan was later flown to The Queen's Medical Center on Oahu for further treatment. - The Associated Press
Anyone who may have witnessed the crash should call Officer Paula Jelsma at 326-4646, ext. 253.

Brennan has been spending time on the Big Island after being released by the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 4 -- five days before the NFL season began. In October, he had a workout with the Houston Texans.

Brennan played at UH from 2005 to 2007, setting single-season Division I records for touchdown passes (58) and passing efficiency (186.0) in 2006. The following season, Brennan led UH to a 12-0 regular-season record before the Warriors suffered a 41-10 loss to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

Brennan was selected in the sixth round by the Washington Redskins in the 2008 NFL draft. After undergoing four surgeries, he was released by the Redskins shortly before joining the Raiders.

West Hawaii Today sports editor Joe Ferraro and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Update from David

Note: David's first email was sent to Theresa's hula sisters. The posts dated 11/19/2010 through 12/9/2010 were originally sent as emails to David and Theresa's friends and family and are re-posted now on the blog.

Sent: Fri Nov 19 23:18:47 2010

Aloha Hula Sisters,

In case you haven't heard, Theresa was the unidentified Waikoloa woman involved in the car crash this morning with Colt Brennan and his girlfriend.

Theresa is into the 6th hour of surgery at Queen's Medical Ctr as I type this message. Please pray for her well-being along with that of the others involved.

I am in the waiting room here in Honolulu and will keep you informed of any changes.



KHON2: Witness Describes Colt Brennan's Crash Scene

Reported by: Ron Mizutani
Email: rmizutani@khon2.com
Last Update: 11/19 8:34 pm 


Several truck drivers witnessed the accident on Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway. Damien Julius of Kona Transportation was one of the first people on the scene after Friday morning's two-vehicle crash. He says at the time no one knew one of the three victims was Colt Brennan.

Julius was heading to Kona near Makalawena Beach Park just after 9:30 Friday morning when he noticed an accident ahead.

"Was kind of like smoke across the highway," said Julius. "Had one car flipped over in the lava field and then there was an SUV on its side. We had to use our fire extinguishers from our trucks to douse the small kind flames from the vehicles."

The 47-year-old Waikoloa woman in the sedan was not moving. He says a male was still inside a Toyota SUV. A woman was outside screaming for help.

"He was stuck, he was kind of pinned. He was trying to crawl and I was trying to tell just to stay put yeah basically," said Julius.

At the time he didn't know it was Colt Brennan.

"From the way he was positioned under the vehicle I saw his head and I could hear him screaming and I was trying to put the towel because there was bleeding coming yeah," said Julius. "There was a small crack, I would say about a foot that he was trying to squeeze out of that his head could barely fit out of but he was moving, he was trying to get out of the car."

Julius says another driver was following Brennan's SUV which was heading south bound.

"He was right in the back of Colt and he watched them lose control and they crossed over into the lady," said Julius.

While other witnesses calmed Brennan's girlfriend, 27-year-old Shatki Stream, Julius called dispatch and assisted police with traffic control. He says the 47-year-old victim was air-lifted from the highway to North Hawaii Community Hospital and then transported to the Queen's Medical Center.

The 27-year-old Brennan and his girlfriend were initially taken to Kona Community Hospital in serious condition. Brennan was later flown to Oahu by air ambulance with severe head and back injuries. He was then transported to the Queen's Medical Center Friday afternoon.

"When we all found out, none of us here kind of like work like wow what? You know because shoot he's a hero you know to us he is," said Julius.

Brennan's girlfriend Shatki Stream is from the Big Island. Friends say he often spends much time in Kona when he is back in Hawaii.


KHON2: Colt Brennan injured in crash & airlifted to Queen's Medical Center

Last Update: 11/19 7:03 pm

Courtesy: Keely Skyberg
Courtesy: Keely Skyberg
Former U.H. quarterback, Colt Brennan, was airlifted to the Queen's Medical Center on Oahu this afternoon following a two-vehicle crash on the Big Island this morning.

Brennan arrived on Oahu just before 4 p.m.

Brennan's father, Terry, says his condition is non-life threatening but he did suffer 3 to 4 broken ribs, a broken clavicle and there was head trauma.

A spokesperson from the Queen's Medical Center says, "Colt Brennan was admitted to The Queen's Medical Center on Friday, November 19, 2010 and remains in serious condition.  The Brennan family appreciates the thoughts and prayers of his many fans and supporters."

The crash happened around 9:30 a.m. on Queen Kaahumanu Highway near the 90 mile marker.

Big Island police say Brennan was the passenger in the vehicle. 

His girlfriend, Shakti Stream, was the driver of the 1997 Toyota SUV.

Police say Stream crossed the center line and collided head-on with a 1996 Saab sedan that was headed south on Queen Kaahumanu Highway near Makalawena.

Brennan and Stream were initially transported to North Kona Community Hospital in serious condition.

The 47-year-old driver of the other vehicle is identified as a Waikoloa woman. 

She was also taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital in serious condition. 

Police have opened two negligent injury investigations. 

The exact cause of the crash is under investigation. 

It is unknown if speed, drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.

Brennan's agent Ryan Tollner released this statement:

"We have been informed that Colt was injured as a passenger in car accident this morning on The Big Island of Hawaii. He was taken to Kona Community Hospital and has since been transported to Honolulu for further medical attention. We do not know the severity of his injuries at this point, but that his condition is serious. We are not aware of the status of anyone else involved in the accident but our thoughts and prayers are with them. No details of the accident have been revealed to us. Colt's family asks that the public is respectful of the hospitals and medical staffs focused on treating the individuals involved in this accident. "