Much has changed since news was first posted here regarding Carrie Chang Talwar’s placement on the prayer chain. Thanks to Gigi Dennis Ewing, who visited Carrie recently, for this first-hand update.
When I first was allowed back to the Surgical ICU at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, San Diego, I had no idea what to expect. But no matter what, she is my best friend, so it didn’t matter.
Carrie’s wonderful husband, Jay, told me that only positive, loving words are spoken in her room. As it should be! He said she can understand everything we say, even if she didn’t have her eyes open. I wasn’t sure that she would know who I was, but that didn’t matter.
So Jay spoke softly and sweetly in her ear, “Gigi’s here to see you, you remember her.” I took her hand and told her how happy I was to see her and how beautiful she looked and squeezed her hand. I asked her to squeeze my hand, and she did. At that moment, I knew that she was aware who I was and my friend was going to be okay.
We stayed with her until visiting hours were over, then my sister and I headed off to our hotel. Jay had asked when I was coming in the morning and I said, “whenever you need me.” He asked if I could come in first thing, so he could get some personal things done. You see, he is there from the first thing in the morning until they make him leave at night. So, I felt honored that he felt safe letting me take over for a little bit, it touched me like he had given me a massive gift.
Bright and early, I walked into her room. Carrie was lying there so peacefully, she looked like an angel. We had 2 1/2 hours together, just two old friends. I told her about the latest things in my life, the new apartment, how I wanted to rescue a kitty, how she has so many people praying for her, just girl talk. I had told her earlier how, when I had my liver transplant, I could feel the people praying for me. It was like being held in warm hands, keeping me safe.
Carrie is being read all the comments that people make online and otherwise. It really brightens her day and she smiles, knowing that so many friends are pulling for her. It helps her be strong and motivates her.
That morning, Jay was able to sleep in and then go for a run for the first time since he had gotten to San Diego. His mother Jeannine is there too, being such a strong support for him and their daughter, Kalei. I asked her how long she was going to be there and she just said, “Until.” Carrie is working so hard, doing both occupational and physical therapy. When we left, she was in her ‘cardiac chair’ with her helmet on, getting ready to go outside for the first time. What a positive morning!
Carrie is now at Sharp Rehab Facility in San Diego, with her eyes open, breathing on her own, with lots of training going on – physical and speech therapy. I have never known anyone who has been so strong and is working so hard. Slowly making her way to her new life.
That’s my best friend, Carrie!
Editor’s Note: It is not yet known when Carrie will be able to return to Hawaii but, for all concerned, that day cannot come too soon. Until then, keep current regarding her daily progress at CaringBridge. This is a new website. (The old one was being spammed hence the change in venue.) You are also encouraged to sign Carrie’s guestbook to send your aloha. As Gigi said above, Carrie will get your message!