by Leanne Loy
It’s always an amazing thing to see a community come together to help one of their own. On Aug. 23, 2021, the Chung family, Sartell residents and business owners, experienced a terrible tragedy. While vacationing in Michigan, Duc Chung and his two sons were out boating with friends. While docked at a sandbar, Chung dived off the boat and went headfirst into the sandbar, breaking his neck and four vertebrae.
Conscious but badly injured, Chung knew enough to not allow his friends and family to move his body back onto the boat. They stayed there in the water with him until help could arrive. A helicopter got there first but the wind from the blades made for unsafe, choppy waters so they had to wait for a rescue boat to come and retrieve him.
He was taken to the hospital in Michigan where he immediately was admitted into surgery. After surgery, Chung spent two months in the ICU unit. He has since been transported to Golden Valley where he is in critical care. Currently, Duc can move his fingers a little, his left arm, and his toes which is hopeful. The family said while they have seen some progress, Chung is still unable to care for himself and his future is unknown at this time. He will remain in Golden Valley recovering for the foreseeable future.
The Chung family has owned and operated JL Nails in Sartell for more than 10 years. Since Chung’s accident, his wife Hanh Le has been running the business on her own.
“They are some of the hardest working people I’ve ever met,” said Trina Lavigne of Sartell, who has been a customer of JL Nails for many years now. When she heard about what happened, she sprang into action.
“I just want to make sure they understand they have a community of people standing behind them, supporting them,” she said.
Lavigne along with other long-time customers and Sartell residents Dana Fischer and Tania Nevares also heard Chung’s story and didn’t hesitate to jump in and help.
The three of them have been planning a benefit for the Chungs that will take place at the Blue Line in Sartell, a business neighbor of JL Nails.
The benefit is scheduled for Jan. 16 from 4-7 p.m. The owner of Blue Line, Scott Widor has agreed to put 20 percent of all sales during the benefit toward a fund for the Chung family to help with medical costs.
“I felt kind of bad asking Scott to donate money,” Nevares said. “You know with Covid(-19) times when businesses are having a hard time staying staffed and everything else. But Scott didn’t even flinch. He said absolutely he would help.”
There are also opportunities for businesses to offer sponsorships. If you are interested or have questions about sponsoring the Chung family, you can contact Lavigne at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“They are just kind, hardworking people.” Fischer said. “I think it’s a big thing for the community to do. One to show their support. [The Chungs] live in our community, their children attend school in our community, they have a small business in our community.”
Fischer went on to say, “If you get your nails done there, continue to do that. What we’re doing right now is giving them some lift and some relief but really, the long-term solution for them is to support their business.”
A Go Fund Me page has also been set up for the Chung family at: https://gofund.me/046bfdea.
For great service and to support the Chungs’ business you can find JL Nails at 1101 Second St. S. #101, Sartell.