Friday, March 1, 2013
Into a crowded Wichita hospital room, Emporia State freshman football player, Justin Wilson, brought a small white envelope.
With the help of translator Christina Su, he explained to the parents of Yali Huang what he had brought for them Friday.
"Before I came to school I lost everything, everybody helped me out. I thought it would be right to help you guys in your time of need," Wilson said.
Wilson's family lost their home in Luther, Okla. to a wildfire last year. A fund was set up to help his family. His family's needs have been met and Wilson was preparing to close the account this week.
That's when he heard about Yali.
Yali Huang, an Emporia State University exchange student from China, was hit by a car as she walked in a cross walk last November near the school's campus. She spent the following 10 weeks in a coma.
Wilson decided to donate to Yali's family, the $1,030 still left in the fund that been established for his family.
"I feel touched, speechless," said Reijie Huang, Yali's father.
Yali's family says it's donations like this, or better put, displays of love like this, that has kept them going.
Since their story aired on television, they have received nearly $30,000 in donations, including nearly $8,300 raised by the Emporia State University Chinese Students and Scholars Association.
"With your care, with your concern and your love, we have the confidence she will get better," Reijie said.
Yali is already doing better. She's even started blinking to signal yes to questions from her parents.
Her family will take her back to China this weekend. Some family members will leave Saturday. Yali and her mother will leave Sunday on a medical transport to Toronto. They'll board a plane from there to go to Hong Kong. She will be admitted to a rehabilitation hospital near the family's home in Shenzhen in the Guangdong Province.
Family members say they were unable to find a facility in the United States that would take Yali on their limited budget. Yali's exchange student insurance doesn't cover the care her family wants her to have.
Yali's family says they only have one regret as they prepare for their journey home.
"The driver (who hit Yali) has never showed up. No flower, no cards, no words," Yali's uncle said. "Without that closure, it really is a painful regret they have to bring home with them."
But they say their disappointment in the driver has been superseded by the incredible love shown by people in Kansas and across the country.
That love has helped to give them hope.
"We will remember all of you forever," Yali's mother Bixiang said. "You have changed our lives."
Charges not yet been filed against the driver. The Lyons County Attorney's office is reviewing the case.
A fund set up through Bank of America will remain open for donations even after Yali and her family return to China. The family has $1,000,000 in medical bills still to pay. You can make a donation by sending a check to Huang Bixiang at 120 N. Chelmsford Court, Wichita, KS 67230.