Chicago musician Chihsuan Yang has been released from a hospital after a horrific crash that broke her back in two places, and now the city's music community is coming together to help.
Yang, a Chicago resident who now lives in Los Angeles, was injured in a crash that left her partner and daughter injured last month. She suffered numerous injuries, including a broken back and several injuries to her hands.
“The pinkie was concerning for me because I’m a musician,” Yang said. “That’s going to take six weeks to heal. I got an X-ray and it still has a crack.”
Yang spent 15 years involved in Chicago’s musical community. Those relationships have been instrumental as of late in getting Yang help on the next steps in her recovery, with Chamber Blues founder Corky Siegel among those who reached out.
Just when Yang was set to be released from the hospital, she encountered further complications, requiring surgery.
“They had to cut out two sections of my small intestine,” she said. “It was already leaking. If I’d gone home, I’d most likely be dead.”
While she was in her hospital bed, she finally received a sign that her fortune was slowly turning around when she saw a major TV ad campaign that featured one of her compositions.
“I was watching the Emmy’s, and all of the sudden the commercial came on for the first time,” she said. “I’m not sure what the universe was trying to tell me. It was a funny, ironic moment.”
Even with those moments of levity, she’s still facing a challenging road forward. Medical bills are still mounting, and her friends in Chicago and Los Angeles are rallying to her aid, raising tens of thousands of dollars through online fundraisers.
Yang’s goal is to ultimately return to Chicago, and to perform music once again, and her friends are ready for her to do just that.
“If we have to rewrite the music so she can play without her pinkie finger, we will,” Siegel said. “That’s how much we love her.”