A new kidney promises a new life

LOHUD THE JOURNAL NEWS | Peter D Kramer
Tony Chhim with his parents Neang and Tim Chhim at his father's insurance office in Nanuet. Chhim, 31, will be undergoing a second kidney transplant surgery next month thanks to donor Taylor Tagg, a friend of his father. In 2010, Neang donated her kidney to Tony. "My mom gave me life twice," Tony said. (Photo: Tania Savayan/The Journal News)
Tony Chhim, 31, of Thiells talks about dialysis and his upcoming kidney transplant surgery and his donor, who is a friend of his father, April 25, 2017 in Nanuet. Tania Savayan/lohud

This is a story about one hour, four hours and the people that are put in our paths.

Tim Chhim had one hour to live.

It was 1975 and the 19-year-old was in death row in a Cambodian jungle, on a line to his certain execution. It was only a matter of time. An hour, he says.

His mind raced to a quick conclusion: “If I have one hour, why wait here to be executed?”

“I calculated I had a one percent chance of surviving, and one percent is better than none. So I jumped out of the death row, trusted in some guys above me who have more power than I do to help me through this.”

He zig-zagged between shouts of the Khmer Rouge soldiers and their gunfire, and somehow made it to relative safety in the jungle. It took him four months — through jungle and landmines, tigers and snakes — to reach Thailand. Of 12 people who made the treacherous trek, only three survived. Continue reading

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