A Korean girl, whose story gained international attention because of her wish to see her grandmother while suffering from a form of terminal cancer, died early Tuesday at her home in Roy.
Hui Chong Kim, 15, came to Utah eight months ago to receive treatment for Ewing's sarcoma, a rapidly spreading form of malignant cancer that had caused painful lumps and eaten away at bones and had appeared in her lungs. She was living with her mother, Sunah Orwan, and stepfather, Jerry Orwan.Hui Chong won the hearts of neighbors, classmates at Sand Ridge Junior High School and people throughout the world.
Her story was carried by media throughout Korea, and the United States after Make-A-Wish Foundation helped bring her grandmother, Choi Nae Bong, to visit in February. Her grandmother had raised Hui Chong during childhood after the girl's mother came to the United States to attend Brigham Young University. Volunteers on both side of the Pacific helped break down bureaucratic barriers to help the grandmother come to the United States.
During their tearful meeting on Feb. 13, Choi said, "I am so happy to see her, yet so sad."
The grandmother returned to Korea on March 20, worried about her husband, who recently suffered from a stroke.
"She (Hui Chong) took the hearts of a lot of people. But I guess it was good that it happened. She was in so much pain," said Bette Mellinger, a Roy resident and Make-A-Wish volunteer.
During recent weeks, Hui Chong had languished with intense pain, deadened by increasingly frequent injections of morphine.