Amy’s Story

Site created on April 2, 2020

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

Dear Friends and Family,

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that our beloved Amy Po-Hwa Chan has passed on April 1, 2020 at 11:23pm. Her spirit went to be with The Lord and she now  joins the Saints in heaven.
Since her Stroke 5 years ago, Mom has been fortunate enough to have been able to spend the last 5 Years with us as a family, to see her 2 grand children grow, and to have been able to have had a memorable relationship with them.  She has said that she is grateful to have lived as long as she has and to have had the opportunity to see and experience what she has. Under the watchful care of Janet during the week, then Ken and family on the weekends and holidays, this was a season to treasure and relish as it has now come to its closure.

We have created a memorial webpage at (

where you can visit and share your thoughts, memories, and where a link to a memorial fund can be found underneath the “Ways to Help” tab.

If you choose to send a physical card, it can be sent to 240 Washington Avenue, Fort Lee, NJ 07024. 

The following chronicles what has happened over the past few months and days.

Mom’s most recent health difficulties began back in February 2020.  On Feb 16, she had her first admissions to Holy Name Hospital for a worsening episode of Right Heart Failure /pulmonary hypertension (Cor Pulmonale), she recovered well after a week, and then was transferred to a 2 week stay at a sub-acute rehabilitation center at Prospect Heights in Hackensack where she gradually decompensated, & had an unevaluated fall. Despite making my concerns to the Social worker and nurse mngr, she was discharged, and was brought home to Fort Lee on 3/7/20.  While home, because of complaints of abdominal and back pain , in addition to her decline in her pulmonary / cardiac condition, she was brought back to Holy Name Hospital the following day (3/8/20) and a lumbar fracture was discovered, and a vertebral augmentation was completed, which gave her partial but not resolution of her back and radicular right leg pain symptoms. Her cardiac and pulmonary condition then improved when she went back into the hospital.

It is also during this second admission to the hospital when COVID19 began to rear its head in NJ and during her hospital stay on which she likely had an exposure to COVID19 on 3/17/20, when one of the staff on the floor had tested positive but mom health remained asymptomatic.  At this time restriction also began excluding visitors, from hospitals, nursing homes, and rehab facilities, and as she was improving, the question was if mom was going to be discharged from the hospital, the question was to where?

For fear of sending her back to a rehab where she would likely be neglected and de-compensate again without the ability of family to visit her, and in an effort to be closer to family, we opted to bring her back home upon her discharge on 3/20/20 and at the time our hope was to support her till she could gather her strength and pain control to the degree that she would be able to manage for herself as she did before with some assistance.

Upon bringing mom home however, her lower back and right radicular leg pain were still very evident even despite pain medication. Fortunately, her heart failure was well controlled.  Mom however grew very tired, had an increasing loss of appetite, became increasingly less verbal (she speaks very little as it is), and increasingly grimaced and was agitated from her pain. She had visits from the visiting home nurse, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, but her pain and exhaustion were much for her.  It took an entirely family effort to care for her as Nissi would care for her during the day and Ken at night after work, in the weeks following her discharge. Where in the past mom needed only to have some assist her so she didn’t fall when she ambulated with a walker, she could not even stand by herself, for any length of time.

Then on 3/28/20 Ken began to feel ill and simultaneously, moms breathing became gradually and increasingly labored.  It was at about this time that the suspicion for mom going from being asymptomatic to now symptomatic with COVID 19 came to progress.

As her breathing symptoms severely worsened, it was finally on the morning of 4/1/20 that for the last time we had mom brought back to Holy Name Hospital. We realized that as we prepared for her to go, that this is going to be the last time we see her.

When she got to the hospital she was clinically diagnosed as a COVID 19 exposure and had consistent findings in the ER as such (CXR with b/l infiltrates, elevated lactic acid, D-dimer, CRP, LDH).  The options for further treatment were to either intubate her ( for which due to the highly complicating underlying cardiac and pulmonary history if she were intubated, she very likely would not be able to be weaned off the intubation tube, and had a very low likelihood that she would survive through), or to make mom the most  comfortable during her last hours of life.  Because mom had suffered so much in the past months, and because of her worsening condition. The decision to make mom as comfortable as possible in her last few hours of life, to allow her to rest and not have to feel suffering was decided.  After being in palliative care for just a few hours, on April 1, 2020 at 11:23pm. Her spirit went to be with The Lord and she joined the Saints in heaven.

This is a difficult time for us and we are slowly trying to gather ourselves together and get our own health in order as we have been close contacts to mom in the past few weeks. Compound that with the dynamics of the COVID19 environment in which we live in today and the restrictions that it has placed on gatherings, means for the immediate future there will be no in person service of any type.  We hope to in the future have a service to commemorate and celebrate mom’s life, but for the time being that has yet to be determined and will likely not be for a few months.  

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for honoring mom in the many ways you have. We are so grateful. Please visit the memorial webpage at (

where you can visit and share your thoughts, & memories.

With Faith, Hope, & Love,

 “The goal of our life is not to escape physical death. The primary goal of our life is not to avoid dying physically. Our goal is to live in faithfulness to Jesus. Beloved, at physical death, when you cross that line being ushered into the glory of God, you will be in the presence of God and will receive a resurrected body” --Mike Bickle.


Newest Update

Journal entry by Ken Nissi Chan

Dear Family and Friends,

The outpouring of support and encouragement the past few months has been such an encouragement to us during this hard time. We are grateful for you all who have known mom and whom have expressed your love and sympathy. It has been about 2 months since mom has passed, and it's taken about that long to be able to begin to try and catch up with life (for me Ken) since being sidelined by COVID19.  We are now sharing her obituary which has just recently been made available at .  We hope to update you as things slowly progress.

With gratefulness,
The Family of Amy Po-Hwa Chan
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