Tragedy to Triumph
My second blog post ever was about the amazing dancer and choreographer Chazz Young. Few people know up-close what Chazz experienced on a fateful Thursday in April 2016 as scheduled routine surgery was performed the day prior.His doctor encouraged an overnight stay for observation only, then home the next day. All appeared well as he joked, flirted with nurses, ate lunch and dinner post-recovery. Having a brief conversation the next morning with his close friend and would-be-caretaker for a week of planned recovery, the friend made their way to the hospital earlier than expected as they planned to work on their laptop in his room until he was discharged. What awaited the friend upon entering the hospital could only be described as a surreal as the ICU medical team worked hard to revive this living legend. He had suffered a pulmonary embolism almost leaving us without his grace, his warmth, his energy or his laughter.
Since April his spirit continues to battle back RELENTLESSLY. Slowly, painfully and at times two steps forward and three steps back, Chazz has persevered. Skeptical doctors did not know who they had in their midst, learning later that this was no typical octogenarian. Those who have had the pleasure of meeting, dancing or communing with Chazz, know that he is not your average senior citizen. Athleticism as a professional dancer and choreographer for 75 years and counting has contributed major health benefits and vitality. He taught swing and tap dance in Cape Town, South Africa and Tokyo, Japan just days prior to this episode
Chazz's eldest son, who can pass as his twin, flew in eight days after this near-tragedy for unwavering support.. Upon his arrival, he immediately granted the friend-in-waiting a much-needed respite from the trauma experienced.. He then too kept a 24/7 vigil, never leaving his dad's side for 82 days straight with breaks from the friend..
2016 began with enthusiasm & promise as Chazz was eager to teach extra classes, perform at upcoming events and be there in person to help initiate the first dance organization dedicated to swing in Cape Town, SA, his last visit 20 yrs ago. Chazz dances for the joy of dancing. Never for fame or glory, nor the riches that dance could have possibly provided. If he could have done it all for free, traveling the world on his own dime and on his own time bringing the level of class, sophistication and technique to thousands of dancers worldwide who are as passionate as he is about the art form, he would have.
During his long-term stay in ICU and rehabilitation facilities, his love of music and dance never waned. We know it was the swing music played continually day and night bedside that contributed to his journey. Suddenly life turned upside down and as he continues to progress and heal, in reality many moons will pass before he can teach, perform or even show up to support dance. The truth is Chazz's lifetime commitment to dance is one of the means by which he supported himself financially, now gone. ‘Team Chazz’ launches this campaign to reach out for assistance to help him reach his daily goals to a full recovery.
Chazz thanks all for the beautiful cards, emails & well wishes family, friends, colleagues, students and dance societies have expressed worldwide. These sentiments must have really worked, CHAZZ IS NOW HOME!
Needs include but are not limited to daily 24/7 home health care/aid, unpaid medical bills, medical supplies, physical therapy beyond assisted walking, speech therapy, memory training, etc., services his insurance does not provide. Also, the repair/replacement of several older large appliances in his home of 24 years as they are getting unprecedented use now. Home maintenance/repairs are big on the list as well as automotive maintenance. Unable to drive presently, he still needs the transportation, (especially in Vegas, we also have Uber just in case), and/or a driver for medical appointments, shopping, cabin fever.
Team Chazz is enlisting the kindness of the entire community as his resilience, determination to keep dancing are the inspiration for us to keep this LIVING TREASURE around as long as he wishes. You can help by simply showing your support and following your heart to give Chazz the best chance for healing and dancing once again...PLEASE MAKE THAT HAPPEN NOW! MUCH LOVE & THANKS TO ALL!