Family of Regina man in coma due to COVID-19 worry his son will be born fatherless

·3 min read
Hien Thach is in the ICU at the Regina General Hospital. His wife Tina often sits by his side. (Han Le - image credit)
Hien Thach is in the ICU at the Regina General Hospital. His wife Tina often sits by his side. (Han Le - image credit)

The family of a Regina man who is in a coma due to COVID-19 is holding out hope he will remain alive long enough for his unborn son to meet him.

Hien Thach is in the ICU at Regina General Hospital after seizures brought on by the virus.

His wife Tina, who is about seven months pregnant with their first child together, often sits at his bedside.

"She is really sad. She cries all the time. She can not work full time anymore because her emotions can't hold," said Han Le, Tina's boss and a close friend of the family.

"The doctors say the picture is not a good one."

The family has been told it is unlikely Hien will awaken from the coma, and if he does he will likely experience paralysis.

"That's why me and his wife, we still hope for the one per cent, he can get through this. They want to bring the baby to see him," Le said.

Le is helping Tina, who immigrated to Saskatchewan from Vietnam in 2019, process everything. English is Tina's second language, she does not have a driver's license and her family remains in Vietnam.

Le often drives Tina to the hospital so she can visit her husband, and so Le can see her friend.

"I look at him for two seconds, and I have to walk away. It hurts me a lot," Le said. "I can't recognize him. He doesn't look like my friend anymore."

COVID-19 spread among frontline workers

Hien tested positive for COVID-19 on March 25.

"When he got COVID everyone thought he would be fine because he was healthy," Le said.

"He doesn't smoke, he eats healthy, exercises, and plays sports. But when COVID hit, it was really bad on him."

Health-care workers at Regina General Hospital's intensive care unit.
Health-care workers at Regina General Hospital's intensive care unit.(Han Le)

The family believes he contracted the virus from his wife, who is a nail technician at Cre8tive Design Nails. Le, who owns the business, said Tina was infected by a client.

"The staff gets it and brings it to their families," said Le, who closed her shop for three weeks.

"If you don't feel well, just stay home to protect the people around you. We work with a lot of customers. I see a lot of people. I just want safety for myself and my employees. It's not fair for us, we give the service, but people can give COVID-19 to us, and we spread it around."

She said she wishes the province would shut everything down for a few weeks in order to control the spread of the virus.

Planning for a worst-case scenario

Le has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Tina and her husband. If Hien dies, they plan to use the money for his funeral costs and for the unborn child.

If Hien lives, they will use it for his recovery.

"I feel really bad," Le said. "But I am trying everything, all I can do, to help [Tina] go through this."

Le said Hien is a generous man who is always willing to help others.

"Everyone knows him because he tries to help people a lot. If people need help moving, he's there to help without asking anything from anyone."

All the family and friends can do is remain hopeful he will wake up.

"Tina doesn't have family here," Le said. "If something happens [to Hien], that means she has nothing, no husband. That's her family. He's her life right now."