Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Flying With the Angels: Luke Yen-hui Chadwick

Update: A Photo Essay on "A Celebration of Luke Chadwick's Life: Lean On Me" at Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church, Bainbridge Island on September 6, 2009

Luke at Disneyland with Cassiel Chadwick and Kent Chadwick
July 2007

Update: If you have pictures of Luke that you would like to post, I will upload them here on Speed of Life as a celebration of an amazing life. Please leave a comment below and send any photos to

Luke Yen-hui Chadwick, died August 22, 2009 from acute respiratory failure after 3-months’ hospitalization at the University of Washington Medical Center. He was 22 years-old and a 2007 graduate of Bainbridge High School.

Luke was born Yu Yen-hui September 20, 1986 in Taipei, Taiwan. He came to Washington state to his adoptive parents, Cathy and Kent Chadwick, in 1988. By then he had already contracted the progressive lung disease secondary pulmonary hypertension.

Growing up, Luke focused on what he could do, as opposed to what he could not. He perfected the arts of friendship and of living for today. His greatest joy was to make someone smile, which he would effect with any means at hand. His spontaneity, courage, and unselfconsciousness inspired the whole town of Bainbridge Island, where he and his family have lived since 1996. While at Bainbridge High, Luke memorably served as the boy’s basketball team’s manager and unofficial mascot when the team went to the state championship. Graduating from BHS was one of Luke’s proudest moments.

In March 2008 Luke received the gift of a double-lung transplant and had 12 months of good health. He became an enthusiastic volunteer organizer for the local Barack Obama campaign. He even travelled independently in the spring of 2009. But a severe case of pneumonia irreversibly damaged his transplanted lungs and led to his final hospitalization in May.

Luke's 22nd Birthday
photo from Luke's dad - Kent Chadwick

Luke’s mom and dad, sister, Ali, grandparents, Bob and Peg, aunts, uncles, and cousins all rejoice for the time they had with their miracle Luke.

Luke told his friends on Facebook: “I try to stay upbeat and keep my head up but it is hard sometimes. I have God and he knows when I will be with him and flying with the angels. Love always.”

A celebration of Luke’s life will take place Sunday, September 6th at 3 p.m. at Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church, 11042 Sunrise Drive NE , Bainbridge Island, WA, with a reception to follow for all to tell Luke stories.

Donations in Luke’s name may be made to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, which did so much for him as he fought his illness. The PHA is at 801 Roeder Road, Ste. 400, Silver Spring, MD 20910, or online at To honor Luke’s year of transplanted strength, please consider registering as an organ donor.

Luke at Gregg and MarySue's wedding
7, 7, 2007

(If you have pictures of Luke that you would like to post, I will upload them here on Speed of Life as a celebration of an amazing life. Please leave a comment below. )


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