Chi Cheng, bass player for Sacramento’s Deftones, remains hospitalized since a traffic accident left him in a coma early last November.
In her most comprehensive statement since the accident occurred, Cheng’s mother updates us on her son’s condition and their fight to pay for his care. If you would like to help, visit http://www.oneloveforchi.com/. Deftones also report that they are beginning to book shows with Sergio Vega on bass. Fans may remember when Sergio briefly filled in for Chi in 1999.
I have included her entire note after the page jump, and please remember to keep Chi and his family in your prayers.
This has been a difficult time since Chi was injured four months ago. He remains in a coma and is slowly waking up. The entire Cheng family would like to take this opportunity to extend our tremendous gratitude for the worldwide outpouring of prayers, love and support. You have opened your hearts and have been the blessings that have made our situation bearable. Your kind words, shared stories, doing the “good deed of the day” (which I would love to start again), and most of all your prayers for Chi have kept us from feeling alone or helpless. There have been so many faces and names that would always show up when I could get to a computer. It was like going home to see you sharing and caring.
There are so many special people to thank for so many kindnesses. Jeff Irwin from WillHaven asked me about doing some benefit shows. He and his wife, Alice, along with many great bands shared their time, energy and talent. In response to the questions of why a rock star would need benefit show money, let me say that not all successful people are rich and even rich doesn’t always last forever. When Chi is fully awake, we hope that he won’t care that his dream home went back to the bank, his dog got given away, his health insurance (AFTRA Insurance) quit paying for hospital care after a month and a half and life might take much more effort and some relearning. We in his family think that he will have some challenges and a lot of new insight and stories to share.
It is pretty clear that he goes in and out of his coma. Many days he seems just tired or maybe sad. Other days he will open his eyes, looking around startled, seeming not to know where he is, then finally after we talk to him , he relaxes and goes back to sleep or just looks at us. He has said “mom” to me several times. That is a huge thing. It means that he can see and recognize me, he remembers, he can think of the word that matches the image, and can verbalize it properly. It actually takes so many steps for the brain to do that simple thing.
I owe an apology to everyone who asked for an update and didn’t get one. Other than the obvious time spent with Chi, which usually meant no computer access, there were other situations to deal with. There has been relocating, which I need to do again this month. There has been insurance to fight with. There has been a rude legal battle to win the right to make medical and care decisions for Chi until he is fully awake. Thankfully, other than another move, all of my energy can go where it should again..
Many of you, in and out of the U.S. have made offers of help. It is very appreciated! And then there’s Gina Blackmore. When she heard about the (roughly $750,000.) unpaid medical expenses, she just jumped on in and set up the OneLoveForChi.com and asked us to look at it. It is a great place for us to blog, people to share ideas and she set it up to assist us with whatever the need is. I mention this because I want there to be no misunderstanding about funds that are coming in. The money will go directly into a separate account set up for where the money most needs to go. That may be for part of his hospital room or for his extra physical therapy, but wherever it is distributed, I will be accountable to you. You can all know where it is spent. And be assured that is will be used with care and respect for the fact that all of it is someones hard earned income and shared with trust. Thank you to those who have contributed and, in advance, to anyone who feels inclined to. It amazes me how many people Chi has touched. You are all family to me and I love how you love my son! I will get back to updating on a regular basis. Look for updates on OneLoveForChi.com or the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Get Well Chi Cheng CardÃ¢â‚¬Â on MySpace.
With Much Respect and ONE LOVE,
Chi and Jeanne and the Cheng Gang