Great Hope For Issy Kwei

Mom and Dad with Issy and sister Lucia

I’m writing this blog post with every hope that somone can help find a cure for the eldest daughter, Issy, of my friend Jeena and her husband Frank Kwei. Issy can’t swallow and has to be fed through a feeding tube. It’s all explained below.

The following comes from their Go Fund Me page.

Fundraiser for Jeena Choi by Liz Grennan : Issy’s Health Care Fund

June 20, 2019

Dearest friends who love Issy and our family,

We are keeping this page up so that we can share Issy’s progress.

So… seasons have changed, school year has come and gone, countless medical appointments, consultations and therapy sessions were attended, and now, summer is here and we are approaching the 1st anniversary of Tumor Independence Day!

But here’s the thing: this update is a difficult one for us and it took me weeks to muster up the energy to write it.

Last update left us all full of hope that the myotomy surgery will help Issy swallow. Well, it didn’t. The swallow team is dumbfounded and no one at MGH nor Yale can give us an accurate prognosis when it comes to her dysphagia.

After the surgery on 3/20, and seeing there is no progress even with surgical intervention and continued therapies, we brought Issy home from Boston. She had been away for 18 weeks and our family set a record for the longest stay at Christopher’s Haven. It was time to come home.

Amidst the continuing challenges and heartaches, there has been good news too:

Back in Dec., Issy left on a wheelchair, but returned home in April without one! Her recent MRIs are clean and her hair… wow- grew back in full force in thick, WAVY (she had stick-straight hair prior to chemo) strands! She also got back in the saddle thanks to New Canaan Mounted Troop’s adaptive riding program, turned into a teen on May 4th, watched Hamilton in NYC (thank you, LivFree organization!) and one of her wishes came true: a Westy puppy to call her own!

What’s more, on June 17th, Issy went back to school (Middlebrook Middle School). It was the last day of school and it was just for an hour, but a monumental progress for Issy. She had a wonderful time cocooned in a favorite teacher’s room full of special friends who wiped away her anxieties about walking into school for the first time since cleaning out her locker last June. We are confident she will return this Fall as a 8th grader.

We’ve seen many specialists and added in psychologist and alternative therapies like hypnosis and cranial osteopath. But at this point, all of them agree that Issy needs to focus on healing… her brain was basically assaulted back-to-back-to-back with neurosurgery, chemo, radiation and more intervention. So now we watch her enjoy just being Issy as much as she can bear in her current situation, and let her do things she loves, like horseback riding, playing with her puppy, hanging out with sister Lucia and friends. Let her be a kid and not a patient. That is where we are and that is for once, all of the doctors’ ONLY orders.

We will be home all summer so stop by and say hello~

– Jeena + Frank

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