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Chi Cheng’s Family Considers Stem Cell Treatment, Offers New Update on His Condition

Gary Livingston, Getty Images

Four years have passed since Deftones bassist Chi Cheng was involved in a car accident which left him in a coma. Having only been in a partially conscious state since Feb. 2012, Chi is now able to spend his life out of a hospital despite many return trips due to various infections. In a long post by Chi’s mother, she shares the latest on Chi’s recovery, including a close call concerning oxygen deprivation.

Chi Cheng has spent an unfortunate amount of time confined to a hospital bed since the accident, and his family and friends have been fighting to keep him out since his latest release. The bassist is currently recovering in a rented house and is constantly tended to by family and various assistants. Unable to speak although he can move his legs on command, Chi Cheng is on a slow but hopefull path of recovery, with Cheng’s family even considering stem cell therapy to aid the bassist.

Chi’s brother Ming tells Revolver, “Once his health gets a little better, we’ll start looking into other options…but they don’t even do it (stem cell therapy) in the U.S. yet. It’s a miracle he’s still with us. He’s alive and kicking and he’s fighting, and I think there’s a reason for it. I’m hoping there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for Chi.”

Chi’s mother wanted to let the musician to recover in his childhood home, but sadly, Chi’s father passed away in April, leading to legal complications forcing the Cheng family to sell the home.

Here’s the newest update on the condition of Chi Cheng in this latest post from his mother on oneloveforchi.com:

Hello dear family,

Hope your holiday was spent with those you love and was happy. Ours was quiet. Mae, Chris and the kids went to Chris’s family’s for dinner Chi and I were here listening to some tunes and catching up on a few things.

Now the Christmas Season is here and the insanity that is shopping. Mae tried to get to the store with Chris last night, took one look at the crowds and said “I’m gonna walk home.” They had gone in to get a really good sale on a TV for the new house and when they fought their way back to that section of the store, it was closed. The TV’s were there and the sale was on but they wouldn’t let anyone in that part of the store. (Yes Sal, it WAS Walmart).

So, we have gotten into a routine in the house we are renting. Chi is getting much better care at home and has wonderful assistants (full time for now) as Mae gave birth to a baby boy last month. She still does hours of hands on helping the helpers, as does Chris, but we have someone come nights for now so everyone else gets sleep at night.

We had hoped to be able to move Chi into the house that all the kids grew up in. He would have been in the main house with Mae and her family and I would have been in the guest house in back. The yard is so great there with bamboo all ofer and oak and fruit trees and bird songs. Sadly Chi’s Dad passed away at the end of April and things got really complicated legally. I thought it best to just rent a place for he and I when he got back from New Jersey and we ended up having to sell the family home.

Now it is sold, Mae and all moved in here and we looked for a house big enough for all of us to live in with more room. We did buy one at a very good price and are having it painted and re-carpeted now. It is not far away and is in a better location. So…one more move and we should be able to settle in. We are so happy at the thought of not moving again!

In the new house we will finally put some bookcases up for Chi’s books around him with a few of his own things on the wall. I can’t wait! We will even get a dining room table!

So about Chi. He was home for a day when he got back from New Jersey and had to go to the emergency room. He spent (6?weeks) in icu, ccu, icu getting one infection after another. I didn’t think that we would see him get back home. It was scary! I think that is when Gina put out the prayer request 1. for the prayer and 2.ya’ll deserved to know it was critical.

When he finally got one blood test that was clear of infection they sent him home. I took pictures of the medic van coming up the road and the 2 gals bringing him in.

They wheeled him in the house with their portable oxygen still on him and when we put the finger monitor on him he was hardly getting any oxygen at all to his arms legs etc.

The girls said that they couldn’t leave him and went outside to call a fully equipped ambulance. Mae and I decided NO more hospitals and went crazy on poor Chi. I was trying to shake and lift him and he wouldn’t wake or move. Mae grabbed a towel and held it tight over his mouth so that he would have to breathe through his nose (where the oxygen was going in). After a bit his eyes opened wide and he looked at Mae like “REALLY!! You’re gonna snuff me??” She told him to breathe through his nose and he did. His oxygen when the girls came back in the house was a nice (98? or 99?). Something high and he was wide awake. They were baffled but cancelled the ambulance and put him in his bed.It is hard and hard for him but we have decided to deal with things at home. Hospitals are too germy! The last time the Dr recommended taking him in and we told him no, he came out the next day and said that it was the right decision.

Again now he is starting into pneumonia in both lungs but we caught it early and he is on day 2 of antibiotics. His Dr and the nurse that come to the house are wonderful and Mae doesn’t miss a thing. She checks him constantly and I never sleep well at night so I peek in on him at night too. All and all, he seems intent on staying around awhile longer. Since you all have been such a huge part of making that possible, we have so much gratitude for your support and prayers! I know this has been said before but again, I feel like you are all our family! Some families don’t get this sort of kindness from their blood relatives. The love and compassion that you give Chi and us makes our world like such a better place.

I will post or Gina will post (because she will call every day to check on how he is when he is sick) to let you know when he is well again.

I am going to try to send Gina some pictures to post also as we have another addition to Chi’s team. This cat appeared and has adopted me and Dai. She is what Sal calls a “power animal” because of her protective behavior.

We wish you all safe and happy holidays and send our respect, gratitude and love.

Chi and me

There is also a new photo of Chi posted here. To donate to Chi Cheng’s recovery fund, visit the OneLoveForChi website to help the family reach their fundraising goal.

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