One of the most successful athletes to come out of Special Olympics Hawaii is improving weeks after losing both of his legs in a crash.
32-year old Nick Pang is now alert and talking. But he is still fighting an infection.
Pang won gold as a power lifter at the last World Games in 2011 in Athens, Greece.
On June 18th, Pang was part of a road construction crew on Kamehameha Highway in Wahiawa. He was sitting in the bed of the work truck, with his legs hanging over side to pick up cones. 65-year old Jimmie Dorsey, a hit and run suspect driving an SUV, slammed into the truck. Dorsey died, Pang's legs were severed.
He has been in the Queen's Medical Center since the crash. He was in a medically induced coma as infection set in. But in recent days, his body started fighting back.
"Every prayer, every thought that can go out to his recovery is absolutely welcome by the family, but he's fighting hard," says Dan Epstein of Special Olympics Hawaii.
Pang is still heavily medicated but he is awake, responding, and improving.
Pang wasn't just a gold medal winner, he was also a world ambassador, a public speaker for Special Olympics and one of the most well-known in the organization.
"Everything he's put his mind to, he's been successful at," says Epstein, "Despite his disabilities, he's always been able to... overcome, become a public speaker, become a great Special Olympics athlete in all the events he's chosen to do. Really everything that he's set his mind to do he's been able to do and... hopefully he can carry this over and recover and do well and thrive after this."
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