Soccer mom leaves legacy of love and giving
The family of Hiroyo Klink talk about their tragedy
Her last words were about love, but Hiroyo Klink left behind more than just a legacy of love. She also left behind the gift of life.
On Wednesday, one day after the death of Hiroyo Klink, her family talked about the personal tragedy that took place during her son's team triumph.
As the clock ticked down in the boy's state soccer championship game, the clock started ticking down for Hiroyo Klink to get help. She suffered a stroke. Bleeding in the brain can kill quickly if not treated immediately.
"Once the cells in the brain die, they die. They do not regenerate, unlike muscles that can repair themselves," said Kaiser neurologist Dr. Sharin Sakurai Burton.
On Saturday night, Paul Klink recognized the warning signs of stroke and called for help right away. He said that quick action ultimately made a difference.
"On Saturday night, it looked like there might be hope. By Sunday hope was dwindling and yesterday morning she failed her second neurological test, but the doctors said getting her to the hospital real quick gave us those 2-to-3 extra days to be with her," said Klink.
Even though the Klink family was reeling from Hiroyo's death, Paul wanted others to be aware of the warning signs of a stroke.
"If there is a sudden onset of severe headache, face drooping, arm weakness or trouble getting words out, or even understanding words -- that's what we look for that a stroke is occurring," said Dr. Burton.
Paul also hoped Hiroyo's death will remind others that life is precious, and to take the time to let others know how much you care about them.
"The last thing Leo heard from his mom was 'I love you' when she dropped him off, and here at the hospital her last words to me were the same," said Klink.
On the soccer field, everyone could see Leo's speed and quickness, but his dad said through this tragedy the teenager has also shown an incredible inner strength.
"I went in by myself and I told him, 'I'm going to lose it.' He said 'That's OK.' I said, 'No, I'm your rock. I don't want you to see me like this.' He said, 'Dad, I'm here for you man.' What kind of kid is like that?" asked Klink.
Part of the legacy Hiroyo left behind was one of giving. Especially to her son and his passion for soccer.
She also gave in a different way. Both of her lungs, kidneys and liver were donated to those on the organ transplant list.
"Like Leo said, 'She will put the hero in Hiroyo.' She is going to help five people live," said Klink.
Klink said Hiroyo dreamed of her son going to college, but that will be a challenge as Paul is permanently disabled.
To help with the costs, friends have set up a fund for Leo. Contributions will be accepted at any Bank of Hawaii location. They have also set up a Facebook page with more details of the fund at: www.facebook.com/LeoKlinkCollegeFund.
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