Aug 4, 2011  •  In Personal

How My Father Ended Up in the Hospital

Thank you to those who commented on today’s earlier, emotional post. My father is doing much better now — he was able to regain consciousness and was coherent by the time I was finally able to see him. The CAT scan did not reveal any serious damage, but they want to keep him at the hospital overnight for observation.

I realize that the earlier entry was curt and may have been a bit confusing to some. So here’s the full story…

My father runs a coin-operated laundromat in the South Bronx. Ask any seasoned New Yorker where the most dangerous areas in the Five Boroughs are, and the South Bronx will most certainly be on the list.

Earlier today, a woman entered the store and started to make a big fuss about her daughter’s clothes not being in the appropriate dryer. My father told her that the customer is responsible for watching over his/her own property, as is clearly stated in various signs around the establishment. But the woman would not relent, and she continued to scream and make a ruckus for an hour and a half, disturbing the other customers in the process.

Finally, my father asked her if she would like to take a look at the security footage in the back room, and she agreed. He showed her how no one had been using the dryer in question, and how her daughter was not even at the laundromat at the time when she supposedly dropped off her clothes.

The woman hurried away in a huff. But before doing so, she grabbed a container which housed money that were collected from the change machine.

My father quickly went off after her despite the protests from the other worker. He — now, even I will admit that this was dumb on his part — followed her back to her apartment building, and when she noticed him in the lobby whilst waiting for the elevator, she became physically violent. She pushed, shoved, and even kicked him in the chest.

My father shoved her back and told her that he had her on camera, stealing the money, and that he now knew where she lives.

Then he headed back to the store. Within minutes, the woman returned, this time with her brother in tow.

Now, the woman was pretty big — at least 5’10” and about 200 lbs by my father’s estimates (I saw a picture of her and this seems to be a fair approximation). Her brother was a lot larger. But my father? He stands 5’6″ and is thin as a rail due to his illness.

He had no chance against them, and they knew it. Together, they began to beat up on my father.

He did his best to dodge and block them, and even tried to run away a few times. But they were unrelenting. Even as he fell to the ground, they continued to beat him.

The other customers at the store started to scream and yell at them to stop. One person was level-headed enough to call the police and an ambulance. My father tells me that when the sound of the ambulance became audible, the sister and brother ran away from the scene.

And that’s how I found my father, lying on a blood-stained pillow, with a fat lip and other bruises starting to form, with traces of blood all over his face and arms where the hospital staff had failed to clean him properly.

I did my best not to cry as I approached him and held his hand. He asked me why I bothered to make the long trip from New Jersey when I am still in pain myself, and who was watching Claire? (I had called J as soon as I heard what had happened, and he hurried home from work so that I could go be by my father’s side.)

“Because I’m your daughter. Because I know you would do more for me,” I told him.

73 Responses to “How My Father Ended Up in the Hospital”

  1. Kathy Nhi:

    Jenni, I’m horrified at what I just read just now. I can’t BELIEVE how cruel people can be. Especially knowing that they were no match against your father. I hope they catch whoever did this. Like your dad said, they have the security tapes…

  2. There are sadly some really messed up people in the world :( I hope your father is on his way to recovery and that his attackers will suffer some consequences for what they did to him.

  3. Jenny, I was in tears by the end of your post. The things that our parents have to go through to earn a living in a (new) country and to have to deal with cruel people is heart breaking.

    I hope the authorities treat this very severely. There is no excuse for beating a defenseless man trying to make an honest living.

    I am so glad to hear that your father is recovering, and nothing worse has happened. Sending well wishes to your family that you can pull through this and get well, soon.

  4. waisze:

    That is terrible. I hope those two perpetrators get caught. Sending best wishes to your father. Hope he recovers soon!

  5. Liesal:

    I’m so glad that your dad is doing okay! When you first put that he was hit by a chair, it almost sounded like it could be a funny story, but it’s horrible! It’s crazy to think that people have that much rage in them for such silly things.

    I’m really glad that there are witnesses and security cameras so those people can be punished and your dad can have justice. Is your dad going to set up further security measures to hopefully prevent this from happening again?

  6. I’m behind on blog reading and just saw this post. Jenny, I am SO sorry to hear this. I cannot believe that this happened and I’m just so happy that it wasn’t even worse than it was. I’m glad you got to visit your dad in the hospital and that he is now recovering. How scary. People are just awful.

  7. Tiffany:

    that is so horrible! why are some people so messed up? i hope they’re apprehended. speedy recovery to your dad – thank goodness he’ll be alright.

  8. Jenny – my heart & prayers go out to you, your dad & family as he heals. This is such a sad story & really makes me angry at the types of people who would do this to someone. It is unacceptable & I hope that some sort of justice is served.

  9. Jenny!! My dad has been in & out of the hospital for the past 2 yrs from health related issues and everytime I see him in there, my heart aches. I can’t imagine what your heart is going through right now! I pray for a fast recovery for your father and that justice is served!

  10. That is seriously fucked up. Who DOES that?? I’m so sorry your family has to go through this; it’s absolutely terrible and there are no excuses besides “we live in a fallen world.” Doesn’t make it okay.

  11. How absolutely terrible. I’m so glad that he’s okay.

  12. This made me physically ill and made me cry.

    How AWFUL to have gone through something like that. I’m so sorry people are f*cked up.

    I hope they get prosecuted to the full extent of the law

  13. Sonia:

    OMG..how scary! I’m glad your dad is alright.

    We went through something similar when someone attacked my dad with a knife after he closed his shop. The robber attacked and then grabbed dad’s bag and ran thinking the store earnings were in there and dad foolishly chased after him. All that was in there was his empty lunch containers. Luckily dad got away relatively unharmed (just knife wound to his hand from when he blocked the knife as the guy was trying to stab him). In hindsight, Dad doesn’t even know why he chased after the guy, but with all that adrenalin and everything happening all at once, sometimes you don’t always make the wisest decisions.

    Anyways, I hope your dad is healing quickly!

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