Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Daughter's love helps save her Dad

Diana Kim, 30, grew up on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Her Dad owned a camera shop where she learned to love photography. After her parents separated, he drifted away and she bounced between relatives' homes, but never lost her love of photography. As a student in 2003, she launched a multi-year photo project about Hawaii's homeless, and in 2012 she found her Dad among the folks she was documenting. Suffering from schizophrenia, he refused to take medicine, eat, or bathe. He would not speak or make eye-contact with her, but for a few years she sat with him on the streets again and again, fearing he would die. "I would sit there and pray quietly, just asking for a miracle," she said. Here's how he looked.

                                                                                  August, 2014, by Diana Kim

Finally he suffered a heart attack and someone called the police. Under hospital care he stabilized and his mental health conditions were addressed. Diana believes the heart attack saved his life. She says he did many things that hurt her as she grew up, "but I have chosen to forgive him so we can move forward." Today her Dad has hopes and goals again. He's planning to visit his family in South Korea. Diana knows prayers can be answered and miracles can happen. She says, "So long as we are alive in this world, every day is an opportunity to take hold of that 'second chance.' There is no failure unless you give up, and I haven't given up on him." Here they are today.

                                                                                                                                      Courtesy Diana Kim

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