Yu Ching is going home.
An anonymous $10,000 donation will enable friends of the woman, who has been in a coma since a February auto accident, to fly her home to her family in the People's Republic of China. She is scheduled to leave Moscow Jan. 17.Yu Ching had recently graduated from the University of Idaho in electrical engineering and was interning at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Pullman, Wash., when she was involved in a rollover.
She suffered a broken neck and head injuries. Her neck has since healed, but Yu Ching never regained consciousness after undergoing surgery in a Lewiston hospital.
Last May, Good Samaritan Village of Moscow agreed to accept Yu Ching without payment. She has been there ever since, and a steady parade of well-wishers has been to visit her, talk to her and help with her physical therapy in the hope such stimulation would awaken her from the coma.
Her brother, Yu Dong, was allowed to come to the United States despite the strained relations between the two nations. Yu Ching's parents remain in Beijing, where her father is an official in the nation's coal-mining industry.
When her condition stabilized enough for her to travel, Good Samaritan officials and a committee of her friends, headed by Barbara Friedman, began making plans to get Yu Ching home.
Initial costs of transporting her, estimated at $100,000 because of the special medical care she will need en route, have been trimmed dramatically to $13,000, largely through Friedman's persistence. Early in November, the Yu Ching fund was opened at Moscow's West One bank to gather money for a ticket home, Good Samaritan administrator Mike Hinson said.
As recently as 10 days ago, about $3,000 had been contributed to the Yu Ching fund. Then, some incredible news emerged.
Friedman checked the balance of the account one day and found that someone had plunked down $10,000. None of Yu Ching's friends has any idea who the donor is.
But Friedman says, "We appreciate all the gifts, either large or small. We are grateful."
She says the Yu Ching fund will remain open through December. Any additional contributions will be used to cover unforeseen expenses in getting her home. The rest will go toward helping her family pay for her medical care in China.
Yu Ching, who requires mechanical assistance to help her breathe, will be accompanied on the trip home by Good Samaritan nursing director Michelle Smith and assistant director Sandy Burr. Yu Ching will go by ambulance from Moscow to Spokane, then to San Francisco and China.
Hinson said the only real obstacle is that Yu Ching must maintain her health so she can travel.
"It seems like we've gotten over all the tough hurdles," he said. "When things seemed tough, the good Lord took care of us."